Tuesday, August 19, 2014

NestNest by Esther Ehrlich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: Children's Middle Grade Realistic Fiction

Nest, is about eleven-year-old Naomi, aka Chirp, who loves birds and lives in Cape Cod with her family. Her mom is a dancer, her dad is a psychologist, and Chirp and her sister, Rachel, are pretty close. Life seems good, but doesn't it always before it starts to slide down hill. Naomi's mom, Hannah, is a dancer who has been diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis) and unable to bear the diagnosis Hannah becomes deeply depressed and is hospitalized for her depression. The story occurs in 1972 when shock therapy was still widely used and for Hannah it is her last option after so many other techniques and medicines have failed to bring her out of her depression. The shock therapy seemed to help Hannah and soon she is able to come home but the depression creeps back. During this time Chirp, her sister, and her dad are trying to go about their daily routines while their family is slowing falling apart at the seams. Rachel starts acting up and acting out especially against anything her dad says. Rachel however is really trying to be there for Chirp even if sometimes she is snippy with her, but we the reader must remember that Rachel is still a kid herself and is going through the same things Chirp is. Chirp is clinging on and as the story progresses you can see that she won't be able to hold it together for much longer, luckily she has found a friend in Joey, a boy her age that lives directly across the street from her. Tragedy does strike yet again when Hannah kills herself and everyone's world spins out of control. But thanks to her dad, Rachel, and Joey, Chirp will make it through anything even something as horrible as this.

This book had me sobbing. The binds of family and friendship are tested to the extreme in this book and though it is a heart wrenching story it is also a heartwarming story of love. The subject matter touched upon is this book is some pretty deep stuff so it is up to you as a parent to really sit down and think about if your child is mature enough to understand the content and emotionally mature enough to handle the content for each child is different.

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