Synopses & Reviews
Safe. To Tracy, safe means having Mama close by. Years after her mother?s death, Tracy still feels her presence. But the moment Tracy is forced into a car as she is walking home from school one day, safe is ripped away. In the aftermath of an unspeakable crime, thirteen-year-old Tracy must fight her way back to safety and find comfort in her mother?s memory once again.
Susan Shaw returns with a raw and moving story of a young rape victim?s journey toward healing, empowered by poetry and music, family and friends.
"In this extraordinarily tender novel, Shaw (The Boy from the Basement) eloquently encapsulates what it feels like to be a victim of rape. On the last day of seventh grade, Tracy is brutally assaulted by an older boy she knows. From that day on, even after her attacker is arrested and pleads guilty, she has trouble believing she is safe. Worse, she can no longer find any comfort in her memories of her mother, who died when Tracy was only three. 'I couldn't even think of Mama and the yellow rose and the yellow dress or the way her stories felt.... How could I fix the shattered piece?' Feeling unprotected, disconnected from her once-happy childhood and alone, Tracy stays indoors for almost the entire summer, unable to face unknown horrors. Going to a therapist doesn't help, although she does find some relief when she practices the piano. Soon music becomes the center of her days, distracting her from scary thoughts but also further isolating her from friends. Intimate, first-person narrative honestly expresses Tracy's full range of emotions as well as her state of paralysis, unable to think about her attack or move past it. The author adroitly avoids spelling out the particulars of the rape, conveying its impact through Tracy's conscious or subconscious choice to try to blank out the details. Readers may find themselves so engrossed in Tracy's trauma that they might have trouble putting the book down until Tracy finally comes to terms with her experiences. Ages 14-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Susan Shaw is the author of The Boy from the Basement, which Kirkus Reviews praised as a stunner in a starred review. She lives in Wayne, Pennsylvania.