Thursday, June 7, 2012

Blood Wounds- Susan Beth Pfeffer

Okay, I admit it- I didn't like Life As We Knew It.  I didn't even finish it.  But Susan Beth Pfeffer is one of those writers who has been around for quite some time, and one of my favorite childhood books was by her: Nobody's Daughter. 
Blood Wounds is a heart-wrenching novel about a teenage girl with a blended family and deep family secrets.  Willa is a likeable character.  Her stepsisters aren't, but she's a thoughtful girl who cares about people and doesn't begrudge anyone anything.  While she lives with her mother and her stepfather, she is denied many of the things her stepsisters receive.  Since their mother is extremely rich, they get all kinds of things just handed to them and Willa does not.  They're spoiled and uncaring, but Willa doesn't mind as long as her parents love her.
Then she finds out the truth about her biological father.  She hasn't seen him since she was very young and knows nothing about his current life, until he kills his family and starts driving up toward Willa's new home.
When Willa finds out that she had two little sisters she knew nothing about, she insists upon going to their funeral.  A family friend takes her down to Podunk Texas so she can find out about her family. 
The blood wounds in this story are both real and metaphoric- while her sisters and their mother died bloody deaths, Willa was left with the aftermath of how her blood family wounded her emotionally.  A lot of ghosts come out of closets and Willa's decision making becomes extremely important.
I found this book to be a quick read because I couldn't put it down.  I really felt Willa's pain and the twisted family dynamics were fascinating.  This is one of those sad yet hopeful realistic reads that actually does deliver.

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