This is a book surrounded by a lot of hype, but fortunately, it is also one that lives up to it. O'Donnell tells the story of two young sisters forced to grow up long before their actual childhood ends. Though each handles it differently, their alternating toughness and determined ignorance both paint a picture of bruised innocence and the irrevocable damage wreaked by circumstance. It is also the story of Lennie, an old man forced into exile and loneliness and damaged by circumstance in his own tragic way. Together these three characters tell a story of outsiders, all looking for a place to belong.
Each voice gives a unique perspective to the story, but only together can they tell it completely. The different narrative styles will keep you hooked as each short chapter bleeds into the next. O'Donnell masterfully blends voice and personality in her debut novel to create compelling and credible characters. She gives these outsiders a voice without exploiting them. She also tells a beautiful story filled with sorrow and humor and life that you won't want to miss.