I’m a little behind in that this is the first Lauren Myracle book I’ve read. I got it as an ARC and thought the cover looked fun. Of course, I’d heard of the author, but none of her books had crossed my path before.
I really liked this book. I thought the characters and ideas were fascinating. I liked the twists it took. And I felt very emotionally involved in this book. It also got me thinking about our imaginations as writers and how we are sometimes limited by our personal experiences and values.
In this book, the family is a very wealthy family living in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. What I found interesting is that when I imagine wealthy characters, they pretty much live by my values. In the YA I just finished, the family is independently wealthy due to a windfall. However, the way they spend their money is they live in a super environmentally sound house, they buy high quality and organic food, they purchase items that are made in sustainable ways, but not a lot of these items, etc., and the mother does not have a job, but does nearly full-time philanthropy work. In other words, they live how I would live if I were rich (only my husband would be the professional volunteer…I would still be a writer).
I have never even met anyone wealthy enough to live in Buckhead (that I know of anyway) and to create a story set there is beyond my imagination. Sure, I could research it…if I even knew it existed (which I didn’t…even though I’d lived in the south and heard of the neighbourhood). It got me thinking about how we, as writers can expand our worlds. Or do we need to? Is our imagined world going to expand someone else who can only imagine a penthouse on the Upper East Side, or a rented shack on the wrong side of the tracks? Hard to say.
Anyway, I loved this book and think you will too. The photo is one my husband took for his blog and there’s a bit of history behind it here if you want to read about it. You can see it better there too.