Interrupted by Rachel Coker is a book about growing up. It is 1939 and Alcyone Everly is a girl ready to turn 14 tomorrow. Her friend Sam Carroll is steady and stands beside her no matter what but he is always so friendly no matter what and it bugs her. Alcyone, Ally to her friends, has a hard life. Her mother is different from most people for goodness sake she named Alcyone after a star. Now she is forgetting things and sees things that aren't there and she is so tired now sleeping all the time. Last year the Dr Murphy diagnosed brain cancer but her mother refused to seek treatment. Ally has been taking care of her mother for quite a while now and Ally is so afraid that she will die. Her mother is all that she has since her father left the family 6 years ago. Then the unspeakable happensâ€”her mother dies. Right after the funeral the social worker the social worker allows Ally to pack a few things and states that the rest is to be sold to pay for the funeral even her beloved piano. Ally is taken to live in Maine with Beatrice Lovell who wants to adopt her and become her mother. Ally refuses to let anyone in to be close except Charlotte (Charlie to her friends) and Irene her new sister. Beatrice never gives up and continues to pray for her and love her and try to accept Ally's rejection of her. Can Ally grow to reach out and let others and God into her life? How can she deal with the men, boys really, going off to war, maybe never to return? This is her story and how she faces life.
I liked this story. Ally has many of the same qualities and problems that many girls face growing up no matter the times. In that respect this book is timeless. Ally also has the problems of loving people and knowing that they may leave herâ€”some through death, some through walking awayâ€”and she must learn to love and trust anyway. It is a story of growing up in uncertain times. In this particular story is during times of the loss of a parent and wartime but all of history has its uncertainty and as humans we must as we grow learn to love and trust or we become people who never know the joys that God means for us to have in this life. This book can be read and enjoyed by all but it feels made most especially for women of the ages of high school and older though can safely be read but though much younger.
This book was provided for this review by Zondervan.
It always fascinates me when authors are published that are younger than me as in a way somebody reminded me today that even though I don't write fiction , I am still a writer as I continue to write reviews etc. I find though that when young ones are published, it's such an achievement on their behalf as the journey to writing the book is a long one filled with research, writing, editing, re-writes etc.
Interrupted takes us on a journey to the year 1925 , where we are introduced to the main character Allie , her mother and the annoying next door neighbour Sam. Allie is fourteen years old and looking after her mother, her mother is dying and unwell mentally. Allie besides her next door neighbour Sam keeps to herself , helping her mother get well and remember things. To me it seemed like her mother had a case of Alzheimer's Disease or Mental health issues- this part of the story hit quite close to home for me as I have a Granddad with Alzheimer's , a sibling with Autism and another sibling with Mental Health issues and a dad who works in the mental health field.
Halfway, through the novel tragedy strikes and Allie is sent to live in a foster home in Maine, with a woman named Miss Beatrice. Life for Allie is difficult as she misses her mother terribly. As the novel goes along, we see Allie struggle with Beatrice's religious ways and starts to communicate with her mother the only way she knows how - in a series of letters and poems. When Sam later down in the track locates Allie, it stirs up alot of bottled up emotions , can Allie learn to forgive and move on from her past in order to move forth with the future or is it too late for her as World War #2 begins and Sam is called for duty ?
Find out in Rachel Coker's debut novel "Interrupted - A Life Beyond Words".
Before I get to the review, I have to compliment Rachel for getting published! This is such an accomplishment. I eagerly wait what else you'll publish.
Now for the review. :-) Interrupted is set in the early nineteen-forties. Rachel did a fantastic job researching things in that time period from the ice-box to jukeboxes and gramophones. She also weaved the Second World War into the storyline to add the right amount of tension.
Our main character in this story is Alcyone (or as she likes to be called, Allie) Everly. The book begins with Allie at a mere age of thirteen and comes to a close when she is nineteen. Her mama is very sick and her memory comes and goes. This leaves Allie trying to help her remember and get better. Rachel throws in several sweet scenes with Allie and her mother and their neighbor Sam Carroll, but more about him later. Within a few chapters, we discover her mother suffers from a cancerous brain tumor and that she won't get better. I have lost a loved one to cancer when I was very young so I felt I could relate to Allie's many feelings when her mother passed away. After her mother's funeral, Allie was adopted by Beatrice Lovell.
To my great pleasure, I now get to introduce you to Sam Carroll, who in my humble opinion is just awesome. He has his flaws but he has a good heart. He would follow Allie around, tease her, and make her laugh. He's quite endearing and it's quite clear he has a crush on Allie.
Allie was raised to believe (though she questions it) that Heaven doesn't exist and that Christians will "make you believe they care" when they really don't. This is where Beatrice truly shows Allie, through her actions, the love of God. I think Rachel handled Allie's "come-to-Jesus" moment and everything coming up to that point fairly well. It felt different to read about a character who didn't believe. A good kind of different.
This book had me wanting to know how events played out, if my questions would be answered, and so on. I wasn't disappointed. I felt like over the course of the book we really got see Allie grow into the young woman God wanted her to be.
Congratulations again, Rachel!
I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review, which I have done.
I really liked this light, romantic young adult novel. It is also supposed to be a Christian novel, although I can't in all honesty say I saw much of God in there.
It begins a few years before WWII, and ends during the war.
The elements of romance, friendship and dealing with grief were very well and realistically done.
Allie has had a great deal of trouble dealing first with her mother's illness and then her untimely death. She can't get rid of the bitterness and pain, and finds that the only way she can survive would be to close her heart to everyone and everything. I really liked this aspect of the novel. It felt very realistic to me, and I think it would to everyone who has had to deal with a painful 'interruption' of their life.
Allie is adopted by a woman who lives in an Avonlea-type little town, where there are a lot of colourful characters, including her step-mother, and step-sister. These people seek to help her ease her pain, but she won't let anyone in.
Then her childhood friend arrives, but he is not alone.
Right on his heels is a great war.
There are not many details given to war-time, just the general idea that the men are away fighting. There wasn't much historical information in this book, nor historical detail.
I would rate this book higher if God was really present in it, in a more personal way, and not just in the from of Sunday-morning church.
Still, for a secular book, it was clean, and in every other aspect an excellent read.
I still can't imagine how a home-schooled 16-year-old could portray human nature so well.
I will be watching this author from now on.
I received this beautiful hard-cover book from Zondervan for review.