in leah’s wake – terri giuliano long
I was asked by the author whether I would review this book some time ago. My HUGE ‘to read’ pile got in the way of me getting around to it, but I finally did a couple of weeks ago.
The book centres around the Tylers – a normal family seemingly living the American dream. Zoe & Will both have good jobs, with a decent income and a beautiful home. They appear to have a happy family life and seem to have everything that others may aspire to.
Their daughters Leah and Justine are talented and popular – Leah (16) is considered one of the best female soccer players in Massachusetts and expected to receive an Ivy League scholarship, and Justine…well, she seems mature beyond her years – exceptionally bright, self-motivating and capable.
So, what could possibly go wrong? How about everything?
Leah falls for a boy who isn’t quite the type her parents would choose for her. He’s been in trouble in the past, has friends who seem exceptionally dodgy and has an uncanny knack of leading her astray.
Although she’s not a bad kid, Leah gets herself embroiled in sex, drugs and crime – much to the horror of her parents and concern of her little sister.
Part of me absolutely hated this book. But that was the part that felt that it was oh so real. that it could so easily happen. I may be 40, but I can so remember falling in love at 15/16, and how I could be so easily convinced to act in ways that I knew my parents wouldn’t have approved of, and that deep down, I knew were wrong. But at that age, you’ll do anything for a boy that you think is cool, and who you just want to love you.
BUT, I am also the parent of a soon-to-be-teenager, and this book scared the hell out of me. It was the gradual progression of Leah’s influenced bad behaviour. I can just see it happening so easily for any girl her age…and my daughter isn’t that far away from it.
Although I hated the book, I loved it too. The Tylers seemed like just a normal family – they tried hard, but had their own insecurities and flaws, the same as any normal people.
An easy uneasy read.