Interrupted: Life Beyond Words

Interrupted: Life Beyond Words

4.2 20
by Rachel Coker
     
 

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In fifteen-year-old author Rachel Coker’s young adult debut, young Allie Everly’s life is changed forever by the illness and death of her beloved mother and subsequent adoption by an older woman in Maine. Bitter and feeling unloved, Allie rejects her new mother and her new mother’s faith and throws herself into her poetry, until Sam Carroll, her

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Overview

In fifteen-year-old author Rachel Coker’s young adult debut, young Allie Everly’s life is changed forever by the illness and death of her beloved mother and subsequent adoption by an older woman in Maine. Bitter and feeling unloved, Allie rejects her new mother and her new mother’s faith and throws herself into her poetry, until Sam Carroll, her best friend from the past, arrives. With Sam comes a host of confusing emotions, and Allie finds she must overcome her past in order to find forgiveness

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Coker makes an impressive debut—she’s only 15—in this Depression and WWII-era tale of Alcyone Everly, who is 14 when her mother dies of brain cancer. Allie is adopted by a woman in Maine, Beatrice Lovell, and vigorously resists her adoptive mother’s kindnesses, clinging bitterly to the memory of her mother. The past re-enters her life in the form of Sam Carroll, an old friend from her childhood home whose aunt lives next door to Beatrice and Allie. Sam has always been sweet on Allie, and his reappearance stirs many unwanted and confusing emotions in her. World events seize the day as the U.S. gets caught up in WWII, altering everyone’s lives. Coker writes an emotionally compelling and psychologically nuanced tale. The plot has some weak spots: Allie manages to overhear not one but two crucial incidents that give her unexpected information, and some of her character development late in the story is abrupt. But the historical context is an engaging narrative frame. Coker is one to watch. Ages 15–up. (Mar.) ¦
VOYA - Jen McConnel
Alcyone Everly dreams of lazy Tennessee summers and a life filled with poetry, but when Allie's mother succumbs to brain cancer, everything changes. Despite the challenges of the Great Depression, an adoptive home is found for Allie. Leaving behind her beloved mountains for the cold coast of Maine, Allie is bitter and resentful toward her new mother, Beatrice. Their clashes are quiet but painful as Allie struggles to find a place in her new life. When 1943 comes, Allie's life is transformed again. Sam Carroll, a boy she knew in Tennessee, appears in Maine that summer. Despite her resistance, she begins to fall in love with him, and for the first time, she accepts her new life as worth living. Then, Sam joins the Army and Allie struggles with her demons: Will she once again lose the person that she loves most? While this novel is filled with emotional situations, the possibilities for true depth remain untapped. Allie is occasionally two-dimensional and difficult to connect with as she struggles to overcome her fear of love. Author Rachel Coker, however, is herself a teen and should be applauded for undertaking such a complex story line. Overall, this is a sweet story that will appeal to readers who simply want a happy ending. Reviewer: Jen McConnel
Kirkus Reviews
Teen author Coker's blend of inspirational romance and historical fiction results in a predictable yet mostly satisfying debut. When not caring for her single, ill mother at their Tennessee home in 1939, 14-year-old Alcyone (named for a star in the Taurus constellation), or simply Allie, is followed longingly by classmate Sam. After her mother's death, the teen moves to Maine, where she's adopted by prim Miss Beatrice, a Christian woman fond of clichés. She refuses to consider Beatrice family or to follow her to church, since her Christian father abandoned her mother. Instead, she deals with her grief by turning to Emily Dickinson poems (which introduce each chapter), her journal and dreams of writing professionally. Except that Allie has become an even more bitter and reserved teenager, not much has changed when the text skips ahead to 1943. Only the surprise arrival of Sam at a garden party has the power to jolt Allie out of her ongoing mourning. Their playful banter, as Allie tries not to fall for Sam and Sam tries not to scare her off with his abiding love, is the highlight of the novel. A few lapses in accuracy and consistency don't detract from Allie's coming of age. While Sam enlists in the war, Allie rethinks (albeit too tidily) her relationships with God and Beatrice. A feel-good story for both heart and soul. (Christian fiction. 12-18)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780310729730
Publisher:
Zondervan
Publication date:
03/06/2012
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
942,188
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
15 - 18 Years

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