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BLUE PLATE SPECIAL by Michelle D. Kwasney


by Michelle D. Kwasney

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8118-6780-1
Publisher: Chronicle

Three young women spanning three generations become intimately connected as their mothers’ mistakes affect their lives. Growing up with a self-centered, single-parent, alcoholic mother, obese Madeline copes by indulging her insatiable hunger and being ultra-responsible. Desiree avoids her overly critical, negligent mother, who’s stoned on headache pills and glued to soap operas, by hanging out with her boyfriend. Ariel’s father is incarcerated for murder and her possessive boyfriend stalks her, but her mother is loving and supportive. Madeline’s life changes when her boyfriend dies, leaving her pregnant, Desiree’s, when she’s raped and impregnated and Ariel’s, when she meets her maternal grandmother, and all three lives are pulled together in an epiphany of discovery, forgiveness and healing. From 1977 through 2009, Madeline, Desiree and Ariel tell their stories in alternating present-tense voices evoking the tone of their respective generations (Desiree in all–lower-case free verse). While Kwasney effectively develops her characters into multidimensional personalities, convincing in their strengths and weakness, the coincidental plot feels contrived. Despite intergenerational differences, however, all three learn to make the most of the lives they inherit. (Fiction. 14 & up)