Girl In Shades

Life After Life by Allison Baggio - 384 pages
Book Blurb:
Sweetly funny and deeply perceptive, this novel follows eleven-year-old Maya Devine's search for her mother, her father, and above all, herself, offering a fresh take on what it means to grow up and discover who you really are. Maya has always seen color around people’s bodies, and can sometimes even hear what’s going on inside their heads. These insights make everyone a bit more interesting, but the one person she'll never figure out is her mother. Marigold has never been like the other moms, but still, Maya sometimes feels like she is all she has.
When Marigold is diagnosed with cancer and vows to spend her final days in the tepee she’s set up in the backyard, neighbors and strangers, believing the dying Marigold to be a prophet, camp out in front of the family’s house. As her father grows ever more distant, Maya finds solace in the music of Corey Hart, but when Marigold’s death leaves questions unanswered, she sets off to discover the truth about her family and identity.
My Review: 3 stars
I read so many books that are set in other countries (China, India, Germany) that it was a welcome change to read something that takes place in Canada. Maya is a young, spiritually gifted protagonist who is the odd girl out. This book starts with current day and weaves through time back and forth to understand the who, whats, whys of the plot and characters. I felt a lot of tenderness towards Maya but really disliked her mother, father and grandmother. My favorite character besides Maya was her aunt’s roommate Buffy, the blind photographer! Through a journal and lots of moving around, Maya comes to terms with the hand she’s been dealt and discovers who she really is. Her ability to hear people’s thoughts and see their true aura is a definitive reason of why she can survive and deal with her own reality. This book was moving, often dark and hurriedly triumphant in the end.  
Quotes I liked:
Tags: 2013, Fiction, Mothers/Daughters, Coming Of Age, Canada

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