A National Book Award finalist tells a poignant story of a young girl teetering on the edge of insanity. Miracle McCloy has always known that there is something different about her. Having been raised according to a set of mystical rules and beliefs, she is unable to cope in the real world. After accidentally setting herself on fire, Miracle meets ...
A National Book Award finalist tells a poignant story of a young girl teetering on the edge of insanity. Miracle McCloy has always known that there is something different about her. Having been raised according to a set of mystical rules and beliefs, she is unable to cope in the real world. After accidentally setting herself on fire, Miracle meets a kind psychiatrist who helps her through the painful struggle to take charge of her life.
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Adolescence is such an intense time emotionally for almost everyone, but add to that a crazy family, a childhood full of neglect and invisibility, and challenge upon challenge, and adolescence becomes a nightmare of madness. The wonderful thing about this book, one of them, is that the author writes with unflinching honesty, creating a character that is deep, full, complex and believable. Miracle becomes someone we might have known, or know, or a part of ourself, maybe one we have yet to meet. I would recommend this book for young adult readers, actually age 13 and up, who may find a message of hope through love, honesty and truth under the toughest circumstances that is often hard to find in our daily lives.
Publishers Weekly, 1999-04-19 A mentally ill girl finds her way back to sanity in this 1997 National Book Award winner. PW found the first half "tedious and confusing" but redeemed by the "realistic and thought-provoking" conclusion. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
Publishers Weekly, 1997-08-18 Nolan's (If I Should Die Before I Wake) attempt to create a compassionate first-person narrative of a mentally ill girl who finds her way back to sanity gets off to a tedious and confusing start. Influenced by her clairvoyant grandmother Gigi, 16-year-old Miracle McCloy grows up believing she doesn't really exist ("If your mama was dead when you were born, then you were never born," says Gigi), her father Dane "melted" away, and a tornado ripped apart Grandaddy Opal's house because she tried to force her parents back into existence. Nolan (Send Me Down a Miracle) withholds vital facts about Miracle's family situation until the end of the book, leaving readers to struggle through pages and pages of Miracle's bizarre thoughts and habits (e.g., she believes a giant eraser is chasing her on her way home from forbidden dance classes) without a frame of reference as to the origin and depth of her problems. Only when Miracle is sent to a psychiatric ward (after setting herself on fire) do conversations with her therapist and her Aunt Casey reveal why Miracle feels so alienated from reality: her family distanced themselves from her to avoid dealing with her mother's suicide while she was pregnant with Miracle. Despite the puzzling start, Nolan finishes with a realistic and thought-provoking narrative of Miracle's journey back to reality. Unfortunately, readers will have to persevere through the novel's first half to reach its redeeming conclusion. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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