PRAYING AT THE SWEETWATER MOTEL by April Young Fritz

PRAYING AT THE SWEETWATER MOTEL

Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

“I wanted to hate him. But he was my daddy, the only one I had.” Twelve-year-old Sarah Jane has just fled with her mother and little sister from her drunken, abusive father; their odyssey has taken them to the Sweetwater Motel, where they have begun to carve out a new life for themselves. But Sarah Jane finds that the pain persists, even after leaving him, and wishes only for her family to be together again. Fritz has crafted a sensitive story that gently explores the love-hate nature of the abusive relationship, offering no easy solutions but allowing her character room to sort out her confusion, anger, and love. The first-person narrative is punctuated by prayers to God, an unevenly successful device that nevertheless gives Sarah Jane an opportunity to express her deepest feelings, from fear of her father to embarrassment over having to start school while living at a motel. This offering breaks no new ground, either in content or in form, but it does what it does with a quiet integrity to which readers will respond. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7868-1864-6
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2003