I have mixed feelings about this one. It’s about an abandoned girl who scrapes by, and my raging motherly instinct wanted so much better for her. I wanted her to not be so hard on herself and to make better choices. However, the bottom line is that I keenly felt for her, which is the sign of effective, good writing.
Here are some example bits of the excellent prose on offer here:
- “She was thick around the middle but always wore miniskirts. When I asked my fourth grade teacher how long a paper had to be, she said, ‘Like a skirt. Long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to keep it interesting.’ Margo’s skirts were always interesting.”
- “It’s the not kind of church that’s like, Jesus was nice so you should be too, and feeds the homeless people and all that stuff. It’s more like Here’s a bunch of ways you can judge people and feel better about yourself for it– the kind of church that would tell Ethan he was going to hell.”
Read The People We Keep only if you want a rollercoaster of feelings, boomeranging back and forth between heartbreak and hope. I can’t say that’s what I want from a book, but this does a good job of delivering it. I give it four stars.