Monday, January 21, 2013

Fixing Delilah ~ Review

Whew! It has been such a chaotic week for me. I think the gray cloud of sickness over our household has dissipated and we're left only with a few remnants of Kleenex lying around. That, and an ongoing antibiotic for my youngest. ;)  But we're on the mend and I'm back at work trying to catch up. Fun times! 

To kick off this week and get back in the groove of things, here's my review of the book I finished while home with sick kiddos. 

 Fixing Delilah
 Title: Fixing Delilah
Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: December 2010
Source: Borrowed from my library
Format: Hardcover
Rating:  3.5 Stars

~Goodreads Description~

Things in Delilah Hannaford's life have a tendency to fall apart.

She used to be a good student, but she can't seem to keep it together anymore. Her "boyfriend" isn't much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.

Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family's painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?

Rich with emotion, Sarah Ockler delivers a powerful story of family, love, and self-discovery.

I enjoyed reading Delilah's story. Her frustration flew off the page at me and I wanted to take her mom aside and yell at her for being so blind to it all. For not understanding the deeper issue, the reason for all the changes in Delilah's behavior and life. And when Delilah's Grandmother passes away, her mom sees it as an opportunity.

Delilah is whisked away to work on settling the estate after her grandmother passes away. A grandmother she hasn't seen in 8 years and has no clue why. She knows there was a fight but doesn't have a clue what it was about nor why it caused such a huge rift between her family. 

"Everything changes in the space of eight years - faces, places, even memories - realities as different from our recollections as we are from our old selves."

I did feel, however, that some of it was too easy. if that makes any sense. She reunites with her childhood summer friend almost immediately, and just as immediately they have a palpable romantic connection. There wasn't much in the way of "hey I haven't seen you eight years" awkwardness, and there is so much that would have changed from the time she was 8 years old to now (16). It just sort of seemed thrown out there to me.

And her mom. Oh, her lovely mother, who is a work-a-holic and doesn't seem to understand that her daughter misses the carefree there-for-her-all-the-time mom she used to be. After the problems Delilah has had at home, Claire (her mom), all the sudden seems to want a clean slate, without really even talking about the issues, even the on-the-surface issues? That seemed strange to me, but maybe it fits with her work-work-nothing-but-work attitude. (Apparently I'm into dashes today. :) )

Aside from those two issues for me, the story was very well told. Despite some things feeling rushed, it all felt real. The easiness of some things didn't slow the flow for me. The end result, the connections made, rang true for me. I loved some of the twists and turns and the discoveries that Delilah makes about her family and past as the story unfolds. Not only was I reading about her anger but I could feel it, as if she were slamming in me in the face with it. I love that!

The self-discoveries Delilah makes on her journey aren't new, or fresh, to stories. They're not groundbreaking. But they are real. They are things that most, if not all, people learn at some point. The true meaning of friendship, the bond of family, the power of forgiveness, the importance of letting go.

Have you read it? What did you think?


  1. Great review! I hadn't heard of this book before but it sounds interesting. Really like the sound of the themes it handles so might have to look it up :) I totally get where you're coming from about things being a bit too easy though. I've just read a book where how seemingly convenient things were was my main niggle.

    Hope you and your family are feeling better soon!

    Have a great week :)

    Sarah @ TotalTeenFiction

    1. It's good to know that I'm not alone in that bothering me. :) It's still a good read despite the few pitfalls.

      Thanks - we're getting there.


  2. I haven't read it yet, but it's been on my TBR list for a long, long time. Thanks for the great review.

    1. You're welcome. Thanks for reading and commenting! :) It's an enjoyable read. ;)



Thank you so much for taking your time to share your thoughts! I try to respond to everyone. :)