At the fabulously wonderful Asilomar Writer's Conference. Saw Yuyi Morales speak last night (totally amazingly charming) and today we get Sarah Davies, Greg Pincus and Gary Schmidt. What a way to spend a blustery Saturday.
I know I've been tooting my own horn lately, but then again, I figure if I don't, who will? When I got this email from my editor yesterday, the subject line read simply: DLS in Kirkus. For those of you unfamiliar with Kirkus, they are known for brashly honest reviews and having Kirkus review your book can be a pulse-quickening experience. I think I lost a few pounds when I saw the subject line. But happily, Kirkus liked Dirty Little Secrets and I couldn't be more thrilled. I think I'm allowed to publish the whole thing here (and if I'm not, they'll tell me):
“An emotionally charged novel dealing with the issue of compulsive hoarding tells the story of a girl forced to make an agonizing decision in this nicely realized page-turner. Sixteen-year-old Lucy has been painfully isolated from her peers for years, refusing to let anyone near her house lest they discover the towers of garbage and heaps of mold-encrusted dishes. Outwardly highly functional, her mother maintains the dysfunction in their home with an obsessive grip. When Lucy returns from a friend’s house one morning and discovers her mother dead of an asthma attack, she is poised to call 911 but quickly realizes this will expose the secret that her mother (and Lucy herself) worked so hard to protect. A growing public awareness of this disorder will produce many curious readers, and they will not be disappointed—Lucy is sympathetic and real, her brother and sister equally believable. Her mother is a multidimensional, complicated character. Quick chapters throttle toward an unexpected and morally ambiguous ending that some may feel leaves too many questions unanswered. Nonetheless, readers will be rapt.”—Kirkus Reviews
I even love the "morally ambiguous" part, because honestly, it's true. But that's what makes for good discussion, right?
I'm still seeing lots of great reviews and I thank everyone who takes the time to tell others how they feel. As controversial as the ending is, I'd love to ask everyone not to reveal any "spoilers" if they can help it. For me, the crux of the story is the question of what Lucy is going to do about her situation, and I'd hate for a reader to know that going in. If you feel that you absolutely must talk about the ending in public, I'd really appreciate it if you would put a big "spoiler alert" tag in the review. Thanks!
On this date: In 1985, Ireland legalizes contraceptive sales.