"Where We Have to Go" by Lauren Kirshner
For Lucy Bloom, the transition from childhood into adulthood isn't going to be easy. As an awkward eleven-year-old, she is a devotee of cats and televisions most famous extraterrestrial, ALF. Her father is a failed glamour studio photographer who currently divides his time between a dead end job at a travel agency and AA meetings. Her mother is a former beauty queen from Bulgaria and current ESL teacher who tends to a family of mannequins in the backyard.
As Lucy tries to navigate adolescence in Toronto during the 1990's, readers witness a sweet and quirky coming of age in Lauren Krishner's debut novel Where We Have To Go. Lucy grows from a young girl into a university student and along the way we watch her deal with the loss of friendship, bullying, eating disorders and the discovery of what it really means to be a young woman.
This is a cute novel with quite a few laughs. It is easily relatable, especially to those who came of age during the 1990's. Lucy Bloom is a character who will quickly grab hold of you. Her voice is smart and quirky and she gives you a new way of seeing the world.
I found that the book started off very strong, with me not wanting to put it down. But through the middle it lagged a bit and I had some difficulty staying attached to the story. However, once Lucy began her struggle with an eating disorder, it felt like it was no longer about setting up a story and the book picked again for me and I found myself heavily invested in it. The last bit of the book was beautiful and touching.
Anyone who remembers the awkwardness of the pre-teen and teenage years will definitely relate to this book. Lucy Bloom is a heroine for every young woman who struggled to be accepted and to find who she is and how she fits in this world. Lauren Kirshner has done a great job in her debut novel.
I received this book courtesy of Random House of Canada. The opinions expressed above are purely my own.