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Friday 26 August 2011

In Search of Lucy by Lia Fairchild

This is a story of a young woman, Lucy, who has reached stalemate in her life:  at a tender age, the family dynamic is shattered by the death of her stepfather.  Her mother reacts badly by turning to one-night stands and alcohol.  Lucy becomes the lynchpin of the family having to be mother to her half-sister and having to control the downward spiral her own mother is pursuing.  Lucy has to grow up way before her time and sacrifice not only her college education, but her own childhood and teen years.  Eventually, her mother decides she cannot cope with life as it is and abandons them and her half-sister opts for a life with her boyfriend;  it is 6 years before the two are to meet again when Lucy discovers she could be the one person to save the life of her beloved, now seriously ill half-sister.  But the life of sacrifice has made Lucy disillusioned, unmotivated, frustrated, distrustful and somewhat insular – can she break through these negative emotions and head towards a reunion with her sister and her family?

This was a poignant and moving story and well-crafted by the author.  Lucy’s unhappy years are never over-dramatised – you are doused with just the right amount of pathos.  She’s easy to like without feeling pathetically sorry for her, despite the wall of self-preservation she has built around her;  the author has created a group of friendly and sympathetic characters around her, who can see through her armour:  one of them with serious romantic intentions in mind.

There is a little of Lucy in all of us…..I’m not talking about her train-wrecked family or seriously ill sister, but we all reach a stage somewhere along our life’s journey when we wonder, is this it, is there really nothing else and how can I kick-start my life?  I couldn’t wait to get to the end of this book and discover if Lucy finds a sense of purpose, if she manages to reclaim her family and of course, if she lets romance find a chink in her armour.

An effortless and enjoyable read.

This review was originally written for The TBR Pile.

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