For Willa, fifteen, the traumas kept coming. The final blow was the move from Connecticut to her grandmother's home in Milwaukee. Her life had been ideal. But now there was no one left at home. Her father was committed to work in China. Her brother was at West Point. And, after a serious stroke, her mother was in a Rehab Center. Find out how Willa survives and regains her confidence. More
Fifteen year old Willa Lonberg used to be one of lucky ones. She had a close-knit family, a mother who was admired by her friends because she was welcoming and a lot of fun. Her father, also liked by her friends, was an engineer who would be going to China to help set up a company there. She had an older brother, Danny, who was a freshman at West Point, and a younger sister, Addie, who looked a lot like Willa, with the same blond hair.
So what happened to her idyllic life? Willa was numb when she arrived in Milwaukee near the end of her sophomore year in high school. She refused to think beyond staying a week with her Grandmother, even though she knew deep down that the family circumstances were not good.
Addie had finally succumbed to cancer. Everyone was devastated. All of their energies in the last year had been devoted to her care and well-being. Willa had been so sure she would recover. A week after sweet Addie died, her mother had a stroke, and had to go to a rehabilitation facility when she left the hospital.
One week later Willa’s father had to be off to China, and Willa also left Logan Airport in Boston several hours later for the unknown life ahead of her in Milwaukee. She had decided to be in official mourning for Addie, and had on her mother’s black leather jacket as a start to her period of mourning. Her father had given her money, although she didn’t tell him her gloomy wardrobe plans.
The girl in black had a rough road ahead. Would she be tough enough? She felt so alone. What would her Grandmother be like? She had never come out to visit Addie when she was sick. Why? Willa missed Danny and her friends already.
She would just have to quit crying and make the best of it. Her Dad was right: no matter how difficult it might be she owed it to her mother and Addie to make it work. She struggles, but finds help from her family and new friends.