Review : Fixing Delilah
Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
Pages : 308
Genre : YA, Fiction
My Rating :
What it’s about :
Delilah’s life has had more downs than ups recently. Her grades are down, she’s been caught stealing (accidentally, is what she’ll tell you), she has a non-boyfriend who barely cares about her and her friends aren’t really her friends anymore. To top it off, the close relationship she once had with her mother is a thing of the past.
It’s also been eight years since Delilah’s mom has seen or talked to Delilah’s grand-mother for the last time, and Delilah still has no idea why. When Delilah’s grand-mother dies, the two women finds themselves in Vermont for the summer, facing the past and its secrets.
My Thoughts :
Last year I read and reviewed Sarah Ockler’s debut novel, Twenty Boy Summer, and fell so completely in love with it that there was no doubt in my mind that I would read Ockler’s next novel. I bought my copy of Fixing Delilah when it got out, and tried many times to read it without really getting into it. Then last week I picked it up and surprisingly, found myself unable to put it down. As it turned out, Fixing Delilah wasn’t as emotional a read as Twenty Boy Summer had been, but the story kept me reading all the way through.
The novel is, before anything, about family. It’s also about love and friendship, but family is the central theme. Delilah spends a lot of time with her mother and aunt, and when she isn’t, she spends most of her time thinking or talking about what happened eight years ago. Delilah feels, rightly so, that the events that divided them from her grand-mother are central to who she is now, but also to the changes in her relationship with her mom.
I loved the way Ockler used the past to create complex characters. Delilah’s mom isn’t really likable in the start, but as we learn what happened in her past, it’s easier to forgive her. The family’s story isn’t about one single event, either; there’s the fight that broke everything eight years ago, but there’s also the story of Stephanie, an aunt Delilah never got to know, or the mystery of her grand-mother’s weird attitude. All of these things work together to create the family’s identity, and though I guessed part of what happened before the end, I was never completely sure.
As for the romance and friendships, they were cute without standing out. Delilah’s love interest was adorable, but in a way that made him a little bland, if that makes sense. The author described the connection they had but I didn’t really feel it. I guess it balanced all the family drama, but I would have loved for Patrick to be a bit less two-dimensional.
All in all, without being the most memorable story, Fixing Delilah was a good YA contemporary fiction. I enjoyed Ockler’s writing and I’m hoping we’ll read more from her in a close future.