The posthumous memoir of a drug-abusing teen who died of cystic fibrosis.
Living in suburban Pennsylvania in the late 1990s, Mary Rose uses her journal, addressed to “Dear Nobody,” to chronicle her daily life: She’s bored, frequently on the outs with her mom and searching for something. She hangs out at the nearby rope swing with other teens, drinking and doing drugs, getting arrested and hoping to find a friend—or even better, a boyfriend. But things change when Mary Rose has to deal with something she isn’t facing head-on: She suffers from cystic fibrosis, and her condition is deteriorating due to her drinking and drug use. Mary Rose attempts to turn over a new leaf only to fall back into drinking and suffers a new tragedy. Yet through it all, as her body begins to give out, Mary Rose strives for peace through religion and searches for a connection with other people. Edited from Mary Rose’s journals after her death, this memoir necessarily suffers from the absence of an authorial hand, shifting abruptly from Mary Rose’s party-girl ways to her medical suffering. Mary Rose evidently never had a chance to reflect on the total arc of her written narrative, forcing readers to glean meaning from the disparate, angst-filled entries or just go with the flow.
While the voice is authentic, this book is an experience, not a crafted narrative. (Memoir. 14-18)