Monday, October 15, 2012

My Sore Hush-A-Bye

Renata Barcelos is an amazingly talented writer. In her work like Mean and My Sore Hush-A-Bye, she peels the layers from topics that most writers are loathe to explore. She explores topics of dysfunctional families, abuse,and psychopathology relentlessly. My Sore Hush-A-Bye is her new novel, one which takes a close look at Camille, a sheltered young woman who has lived with her Uncle Bob for around ten years - since her mother abandoned her into Bob's care. Uncle Bob chose to home school Camille and has taught her well. However, Camille has been caught in a time warp at Uncle Bob's, immersing herself in the movies, TV shows and music of another generation. The music of Mama Cass Elliott of the Mamas and Papas has helped Camille deal with the loneliness of her life. Oddly enough, after all of the years being sheltered and isolated in Uncle Bob's world, Uncle Bob's feelings about her start to change. She feels abandoned by him, in an echo of the earlier abandonment of her mother. Uncle Bob sends her to the local public high school for her senior year. There she feels more like an outsider - she understands nothing of the language of kids her age. One girl does befriend her - though not publicly at Camille's request. When her new friend disappears, Camille is horrified and worried - worried that her friend's disappearance may have something to do with Uncle Bob and her. The only negative about My Sore Hush-A-Bye is that it's a lot like a mini Snickers bar; it tastes wonderful but leaves me yearning for more.

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