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2 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Hand Me Down

by

Hand Me Down Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A tough, tender, debut novel, in the tradition of Dorothy Allison and Janet Fitch, Hand Me Down is the unforgettable story of a girl who travels between California and Utah in search of her true family, having never been loved best of all.

Fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Reid has spent her life protecting her sister, Jaime, from their parents' cruel mistakes. Their father, who'd rather work the system than a job, pours every dollar into his many vices, denying his daughters the shoes and clothing they need. Their mother, once a loving parent, is going through a post-post-adolescent rebellious streak and finds love with a dangerous ex-con. When she chooses starting a new family over raising her first-born girls, Elizabeth and Jaime are separated and forced to rely on the begrudging kindness of increasingly distant relatives.

A string of broken promises that begins with Liz's mother swearing, "I would never hurt you, Liz. You're family," propels her between guest beds in two states searching for a safe home. All the while, Liz is burdened by her stake in a bleak pact with a deceitful adult: to tell the truth about the darkest of her circumstances will cost her the ability to shelter Jaime. As Liz spirals into the abyss of fear and shame that haunts her sleepless nights, can she break free from her bonds in time to fight for her life?

Thorne writes with a command of language that is at once affecting and enticing. Her debut is the kind of voice-driven reading experience fiction lovers crave.

Review:

"Thorne's debut is a dramatic game of musical chairs wherein teenage sisters Elizabeth and Jamie Reid struggle to find their respective places in the world after their divorced parents' delinquencies — Dad's a drunk and Mom is remarried to a sexually predacious ex-con — force them to take life into their own hands. Liz initially goes to live with Aunt Tammy, though Uncle Sam isn't fond of the new houseguest, and Liz misses her sister. Jamie moves in with Dad and proves true the adage about the apple and the tree when she starts skipping school and hanging around liquor stores. Both girls eventually wind up in the conservative Christian home of Aunt Deborah, where Jamie finds comfort and stability, but Liz is left yearning for Aunt Tammy. An explosive encounter finally forces the broken family to face the sad reality of their situation, though not everyone is ready to reform. Thorne writes convincingly from an adolescent's perspective, admitting to having mined her own experiences. The family is believably and sadly dysfunctional, and readers will empathize with each character through their highs and lows. Despite a lackluster ending, this is an intriguing first outing by a talented new writer. Agent: Trena Keating, Keating Literary." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Hand Me Down is a compelling, intelligently contemporized version of a traditional coming-of-age story full of family betrayals old and new." Pam Houston, bestselling author of Cowboys are My Weakness

Review:

"First-time author Thorne wears her heart on her sleeve in this semi-autobiographical tale about a 14-year-old who juggles equal amounts of hope and despair in her chaotic daily life....Liz continues to narrate her journey with prose that vibrates with intelligence and passion....Liz is a wise, wry, wonderful heroine." Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Review:

"Thorne deals sensitively with a difficult topic, and the novel's adolescent perspective is sure to find popularity with YA audiences." Library Journal

Review:

"Here's a mother every reader will love to hate....A sad, compelling read." People

Review:

"Melanie Thorne's debut novel is raw with emotion as she describes Liz's often futile efforts to protect her sister and herself from the predator their mother has invited into their lives. It is often hard to remember that this is, in fact, a novel and not a memoir....Thorne's novel is an eye-opener... she leaves the reader haunted by a nagging question: What happens to the children who are not so lucky?" M. L. Johnson, Associated Press

Review:

"Difficult to read, but impossible to put down — this is perhaps the best way to describe Melanie Thorne’s debut, Hand Me Down. Like Janet Finch's 1999 bestseller White Oleander, this is a raw and all too realistic story about a California teen forced to move from house to house — and often from bad situation to worse — after her well-intentioned but self-centered mother makes a life-changing choice." BookPage

Synopsis:

A tough, tender, debut novel, in the tradition of Dorothy Allison and Janet Fitch, Hand Me Down is the unforgettable story of a girl who travels between California and Utah in search of her true family, having never been loved best of all.

Fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Reid has spent her life protecting her sister, Jaime, from their parents' cruel mistakes. Their father, who'd rather work the system than a job, pours every dollar into his many vices, denying his daughters the shoes and clothing they need. Their mother, once a loving parent, is going through a post-post-adolescent rebellious streak and finds love with a dangerous ex-con. When she chooses starting a new family over raising her first-born girls, Elizabeth and Jaime are separated and forced to rely on the begrudging kindness of increasingly distant relatives.

A string of broken promises that begins with Liz's mother swearing, "I would never hurt you, Liz. You're family," propels her between guest beds in two states searching for a safe home. All the while, Liz is burdened by her stake in a bleak pact with a deceitful adult: to tell the truth about the darkest of her circumstances will cost her the ability to shelter Jaime. As Liz spirals into the abyss of fear and shame that haunts her sleepless nights, can she break free from her bonds in time to fight for her life?

Thorne writes with a command of language that is at once affecting and enticing. Her debut is the kind of voice-driven reading experience fiction lovers crave.

Synopsis:

A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2012

Hand Me Down, which recalls the gritty power of Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina, is fiction with the ring of truth.” –San Jose Mercury News

Fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Reid has spent her life protecting her sister, Jaime, from their parents cruel mistakes and broken promises. When their mother chooses her second husband and their new family over raising her firstborn girls, Elizabeth and Jaime are separated and risk losing the shelter of each other. Hand Me Down indelibly captures a contemporary family journey--how two young people, against incredible odds, forge lives of their own in the face of an uncertain future.

About the Author

Melanie Thorne earned her MA in creative writing from the University of California, Davis, where she was awarded the Alva Englund Fellowship and the Maurice Prize in Fiction. She lives in northern California.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780525952688
Author:
Thorne, Melanie
Publisher:
Dutton Adult
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20120412
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Coming of Age
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Young Adult » General

Hand Me Down Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Dutton Books - English 9780525952688 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Thorne's debut is a dramatic game of musical chairs wherein teenage sisters Elizabeth and Jamie Reid struggle to find their respective places in the world after their divorced parents' delinquencies — Dad's a drunk and Mom is remarried to a sexually predacious ex-con — force them to take life into their own hands. Liz initially goes to live with Aunt Tammy, though Uncle Sam isn't fond of the new houseguest, and Liz misses her sister. Jamie moves in with Dad and proves true the adage about the apple and the tree when she starts skipping school and hanging around liquor stores. Both girls eventually wind up in the conservative Christian home of Aunt Deborah, where Jamie finds comfort and stability, but Liz is left yearning for Aunt Tammy. An explosive encounter finally forces the broken family to face the sad reality of their situation, though not everyone is ready to reform. Thorne writes convincingly from an adolescent's perspective, admitting to having mined her own experiences. The family is believably and sadly dysfunctional, and readers will empathize with each character through their highs and lows. Despite a lackluster ending, this is an intriguing first outing by a talented new writer. Agent: Trena Keating, Keating Literary." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Hand Me Down is a compelling, intelligently contemporized version of a traditional coming-of-age story full of family betrayals old and new."
"Review" by , "First-time author Thorne wears her heart on her sleeve in this semi-autobiographical tale about a 14-year-old who juggles equal amounts of hope and despair in her chaotic daily life....Liz continues to narrate her journey with prose that vibrates with intelligence and passion....Liz is a wise, wry, wonderful heroine."
"Review" by , "Thorne deals sensitively with a difficult topic, and the novel's adolescent perspective is sure to find popularity with YA audiences."
"Review" by , "Here's a mother every reader will love to hate....A sad, compelling read."
"Review" by , "Melanie Thorne's debut novel is raw with emotion as she describes Liz's often futile efforts to protect her sister and herself from the predator their mother has invited into their lives. It is often hard to remember that this is, in fact, a novel and not a memoir....Thorne's novel is an eye-opener... she leaves the reader haunted by a nagging question: What happens to the children who are not so lucky?"
"Review" by , "Difficult to read, but impossible to put down — this is perhaps the best way to describe Melanie Thorne’s debut, Hand Me Down. Like Janet Finch's 1999 bestseller White Oleander, this is a raw and all too realistic story about a California teen forced to move from house to house — and often from bad situation to worse — after her well-intentioned but self-centered mother makes a life-changing choice."
"Synopsis" by ,

A tough, tender, debut novel, in the tradition of Dorothy Allison and Janet Fitch, Hand Me Down is the unforgettable story of a girl who travels between California and Utah in search of her true family, having never been loved best of all.

Fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Reid has spent her life protecting her sister, Jaime, from their parents' cruel mistakes. Their father, who'd rather work the system than a job, pours every dollar into his many vices, denying his daughters the shoes and clothing they need. Their mother, once a loving parent, is going through a post-post-adolescent rebellious streak and finds love with a dangerous ex-con. When she chooses starting a new family over raising her first-born girls, Elizabeth and Jaime are separated and forced to rely on the begrudging kindness of increasingly distant relatives.

A string of broken promises that begins with Liz's mother swearing, "I would never hurt you, Liz. You're family," propels her between guest beds in two states searching for a safe home. All the while, Liz is burdened by her stake in a bleak pact with a deceitful adult: to tell the truth about the darkest of her circumstances will cost her the ability to shelter Jaime. As Liz spirals into the abyss of fear and shame that haunts her sleepless nights, can she break free from her bonds in time to fight for her life?

Thorne writes with a command of language that is at once affecting and enticing. Her debut is the kind of voice-driven reading experience fiction lovers crave.

"Synopsis" by ,
A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2012

Hand Me Down, which recalls the gritty power of Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina, is fiction with the ring of truth.” –San Jose Mercury News

Fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Reid has spent her life protecting her sister, Jaime, from their parents cruel mistakes and broken promises. When their mother chooses her second husband and their new family over raising her firstborn girls, Elizabeth and Jaime are separated and risk losing the shelter of each other. Hand Me Down indelibly captures a contemporary family journey--how two young people, against incredible odds, forge lives of their own in the face of an uncertain future.

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