Thursday, January 28, 2021

Top ten books about children fending for themselves

Una Mannion’s debut novel is A Crooked Tree.

At the Guardian she tagged ten books in which "the dramatic force of the children portrayed is not their weakness but their strength, their ability to resist and sometimes to forgive." One title on the list:
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Thirteen-year-old Jojo, three-year-old sister Kayla and addicted mother Leonie take a road trip to collect their father from prison. Ward eschews the epic and redemptive possibilities we associate with road narratives as Leonie takes a diversion to pick up a package of crystal meth and Jojo tends to a feverish Kayla. Watching Jojo hold Kayla, how she “sticks to him, sure as a burr”, Leonie says: “I stand there watching my children comfort each other. My hands itch wanting to do something. I could reach out and touch them, but I don’t.”
Read about another entry on the list.

Sing, Unburied Sing is among Sahar Mustafah's seven novels about grieving a family member and LitHub's ten books we'll be reading in ten years.

--Marshal Zeringue