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Review: Up From the Blue

June 28, 2012

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.

Review copy provided by Harper Collins. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
31 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2012 6:41 am

    This sounds intense! Being told from the 8 year old’s perspective really seems to give it something different.

  2. June 28, 2012 6:44 am

    Even worse than she imagined? Wow, that must be bad…

  3. June 28, 2012 7:11 am

    I love stories told from the perspective of a child — I think I have to add this to the TBR list. Thanks Kathy

  4. June 28, 2012 8:09 am

    This sounds like a perfect curl up and enjoy read!

  5. June 28, 2012 9:18 am

    Did you just want to reach in and hug her? Thanks for a great review.

  6. June 28, 2012 10:01 am

    Great review, makes me want to find out what her mother is!

    Beth ^_^

  7. June 28, 2012 10:45 am

    I really liked this one, too.

  8. June 28, 2012 11:27 am

    I’ve been meaning to read this, but if Durante has slightly odd male voices, maybe I’ll stick to print.

  9. June 28, 2012 11:37 am

    You know a writer is talented when they can pull off an 8 year-old’s perspective. Also, I went through post-partum depression and this topic and others related interests me. I just discovered audio books and now I want to listen to this one!

  10. June 28, 2012 12:07 pm

    Wow, this sounds sad and intense, but I’m fascinated already. Great review.

  11. June 28, 2012 12:59 pm

    This sounds pretty good. Especially with it being told by a girl so young. My daughter is 8 and her storytelling is very unusual. Meaning, what she chooses to showcase and what she chooses to skip usually have nothing to do with importance. Interesting.

  12. sandynawrot permalink
    June 28, 2012 1:11 pm

    Heather gave me this book, but I’ve yet to get to it (big shocker). She did tell me it was heartbreaking, especially BECAUSE it was written from an 8 year-old’s perspective.

  13. June 28, 2012 1:18 pm

    This does sound riveting. Great review, Kathy!

  14. June 28, 2012 1:32 pm

    I’ve not heard of this book before, but it sounds quite moving. Great review! 🙂

  15. June 28, 2012 1:38 pm

    This sounds worth checking out. I would probably read instead of listen anyway.

  16. June 28, 2012 2:02 pm

    Stories like that are so sad, when children aren’t told the truth. I would imagine that the truth would always be better to know, but since you said it was worse you totally have me curious about what it was that happened.

  17. June 28, 2012 3:16 pm

    This sounds both heartbreaking and riveting. I will be sure to keep an eye out for this one!

  18. Patty permalink
    June 28, 2012 4:41 pm

    Oh, it truly sounds wonderful.

  19. June 28, 2012 5:03 pm

    I would really enjoy this too!

  20. June 28, 2012 6:30 pm

    Sounds like a great read and I think the perspective here makes it even more intense than it could be otherwise.

  21. June 28, 2012 7:09 pm

    Now I really want to know what happened to her mother!

  22. bookingmama permalink
    June 28, 2012 7:57 pm

    I liked this one a lot but I thought the first half of the book was stronger than the second.

  23. June 28, 2012 10:05 pm

    Now I want to know what happened to her mother! This is going on my tbr list!

  24. June 29, 2012 2:02 am

    AAAHHHHRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH! I need to know what happened to Mum!

  25. June 29, 2012 3:35 am

    I like the sound of this – think it would make a great winter read!

  26. June 29, 2012 7:14 am

    I haven’t listened to a suspenseful audiobook yet but it sounds like it was a winner for you!

  27. Beth F permalink
    June 29, 2012 7:50 am

    I have this on my list but haven’t gotten to it (story of my life). Not sure if I’ll read or listen … thanks for the heads-up on the male voices.

  28. June 30, 2012 8:20 am

    I really loved this book. I’m partial to stories told from a child’s perspective and this one is one of the best. Tillie stayed with me for a long time and I’m so glad you enjoyed it too!

  29. Staci@LifeintheThumb permalink
    July 2, 2012 6:21 am

    This one sounds great and I love that the narrator is the young girl…books that have me on edge are almost always enjoyable!!

  30. July 3, 2012 4:41 pm

    Ooh, looks great!

  31. July 6, 2012 1:41 pm

    This one really interests me. I’m glad to see you liked it.

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