I have my very own hard copy of her debut YA novel SHADOWED SUMMER, but it has just come out in paperback this week, so if you aren't lucky enough to already own one, you can now run out and get a copy. Also, look for her newest work, THE VESPERTINE, due out in Spring of 2011.
On first glance, a book about a teenaged girl trapped in the disaster that is her mother's hoarding, and a book about a girl haunted by a frustrated ghost don't seem to have much in common. But beneath the stacks of National Geographics and a borrowed heirloom witchboard, DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS and SHADOWED SUMMER have the same heart.
They're books about that moment when you realize that your parents had entire lives before you existed. That they have inner lives you can never know. And, shockingly, that know one will ever know *your* whole story, either.
The protagonists explore those shadow histories from the edges- in Lucy's case, in DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS, she gets her glimpses from sorting through the hoarded, compacted belongings her mother has amassed over the years. Each box contains a memory, a slip of evidence, a hint of the life that made that object important (or unimportant) enough to keep.
For Iris in SHADOWED SUMMER, she dodges around the father who has the answers and won't share them, and picks through other people's stories instead. She asks the living and the dead alike, getting a shattered image of the past that she'll never be able to repair completely. But, like Lucy, Iris eventually discovers that the secrets and lies around you often lead to your own door.
On the surface, these books have nothing in common. But I find it fascinating that beneath the covers, they share their secrets- and just might reveal some of yours, too.
by Saundra Mitchell
In paperback June 8, 2010
Thanks so much to Saundra for dropping by the blog!
On this date: In 1942, Anne Frank received her diary.