Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Book Review: P.S. I Miss You by Jen Petro-Roy

This book wrecked me. At fist, I just thought it was a sweet story, albeit around some deeper topics, but the end had me sobbing (and I am not an easy book crier.) Literally, I was reading in bed after my husband had gone to sleep and while I was able to be quiet, I had to get out of bed because I was sobbing so hard I was shaking the bed and I was afraid I would wake him up.

Cilla got pregnant in high school, and her parents sent her away to live with an aunt in Virginia, as they are super-Catholics (I say, having been raised as a liberal Catholic), and it's embarrassing and shameful to her parents. Her little sister Evie, finds her parents' reaction to Cilla's pregnancy, embarrassing and shameful. Who send their child away in her moment of need? Who denies that they have a daughter just because she made a mistake? If this is what their religion tells them to do, maybe Evie doesn't need their religion. And given how they treated Cilla, Evie can only imagine how her parents would behave if they found out about the feelings she's been having for her new friend, June. So instead, she writes to Cilla, first at their aunt's, and then later at the Catholic boarding school where she's going to finish up school after the birth and adoption. Cilla doesn't answer, but Evie persists nonetheless.

Cilla seems like she was a good big sister, and even without her responses, it's nice to see how Evie uses their one-sided communication to help her work out some questions about religion, faith, doubt, trust, love, and grief. And then there's a big twist. And it's the aftermath of that twist that left me so touched that even weeks later, when talking about that point in the book, I still get teary-eyed. It's a powerful and moving book, perfect for older preteens and younger teens, covering some serious topics with a believable main character, written with a deft hand.

This book is published by Macmillan, my employer.

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