Hyacinth Girls; Lauren Frankel
Crown - 2015
Hyacinth Girls is a debut novel that will make some readers question how well they really know their children.
Thirteen year old Callie has had a less than perfect childhood. Both of her parents are dead and she is being raised by Rebecca, who was the cousin and best friend of Callie's mother. One day Rebecca learns that Callie's has been accused of bullying another girl at her school in Connecticut. Rebecca is sure there has to be some mistake because Callie isn't the the bullying-kind -- a quiet girl who likes to spend time outdoors and care deeply about the environment.
Callie's good name is cleared but then the threatening letters begin. Could Callie's life be in danger? Rebecca feels she must somehow intervene.
The story is told from both Rebecca's perspective, where she reflects on her own childhood and her friendship with Callie's mother Joyce and recalling incidents that she wished would have taken a different turn. We also get Callie's POV. The reader does get to see both sides of bully and the victim which was good, but yet somehow this novel still wasn't perfect. There were quite a few ancillary characters that seemed insignificant or undeveloped, which only seemed to slow down the story at times. I did like that there were some unexpected twists which added a nice element of suspense to keep me reading.
An important subject, unexpected twists - parents with children is this age range may want to check this one out.