Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in
This is the quote on page 1. Shelby Richmond is seventeen when there is an accident while driving with her best friend Helene on Long Island. A young girl’s perfect life is turned upside down and inside out. And then, she just seems to go off the rails more and more. “Where is the light coming in?” you wonder.
Yet, slowly but surely, I became enchanted and fascinated with Shelby. There was an honesty, a truth, a doggedness about her. She didn't want to pretend, or be what she wasn’t. She wore her pain everywhere and all the time. And if that meant you didn't like her, that was ok. I like people like that.
I also love dogs, and there are some good dog scenes in this. And some kids, and lots of heartbreaking relationships. Faith and failure at humanity. Life’s hard knocks, and not being sure about anything, especially love.
“Life was beautiful, everyone knew that, but it was also bitter and bleak and unfair as hell and where did that leave a person? On the outs with the rest of the world. Someone who sat alone in the cafeteria, reading, escaping from his hometown simply by turning the page.”
My first Alice Hoffman, I loved the efficient, original writing style, her depiction of faithfulness, but most of all that she, writing about someone in a truly desperate situation, wove scraps of hope, chinks of light that ultimately do connect to create beauty from pain. This book and my emotions while reading it will stay with me for a long time.
Thoroughly beautiful and highly recommended.
Some more reviews.