Review: Up From the Blue
Tillie always knew her mother was different from everyone else’s – her mom was great some days but on others she couldn’t even muster the strength to get out of bed. When Tillie’s father is transferred, things become even worse, so Tilllie is left behind for several days while her mother, father, and brother move their belongings.
When Tillie arrives at their new home, her mother is nowhere to be found and no one will give her an explanation. She feels lost at her new school and really doesn’t fit in. She misses her mother terribly and tries her best to figure out what’s happened to her mom. When she finally figures things out, it shatters her world.
Years later, as Tillie is having a child of her own, she reflects back on that year that changed her forever.
Up From the Blue, by Susan Henderson, is fraught with tension and had me on the edge of my seat. Since the story is told from eight year old Tillie’s perspective, the reader knows no more than she does, so I felt her desire to know where her mother is and her frustration when no one will answer her questions.
Tillie’s father is caught up in his work and her brother thinks she’s a pest, so she’s pretty much left to her own devices to figure things out. Her kind teacher takes her under his wing but it’s really not enough so my heart broke for poor Tillie. Since her questions are ignored, Tillie imagines the worst possible things, but once she figures out the truth it seems that it’s even worse.
In case you can’t tell, I really liked Up From the Blue. I thought it was suspenseful and well written and find it hard to believe it’s Henderson’s first novel. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. I listened to the audio version of the book – it’s narrated by Emily Durante who does an adequate job, even if her male voices are a little odd. The audio version lasts about eight and a half hours.