on March 29, 2016 :
Although we’d all like to believe in the perfect family and a perfect home life for kids, the reality often falls far short. What happens to kids who aren’t loved or respected, who have to deal with unreasonable, toxic parents, and who have nowhere to go to escape the misery?
In Under a Purple Moon, the author explores not just one teen’s attempt to fight her way out of a painful home life, but four of them. Eden is a typical high school girl, bright and generous, but unsure of herself and her place in the world. At home, she must put up with a mother who has serious mental problems and a father who refuses to acknowledge them. In desperation, she escapes to an abandoned house where she can have some peace and quiet. She soon discovers she’s not the only one who needs a place to escape. Two guy friends from high school also use the house, and a new student soon shows up with even more serious problems. It’s in their shared misery and frustration that they bond and form a support network for each other—the only defense against damaging home lives they’re stuck with.
This book spoke to me on so many levels. When you’re too young to know better, it’s easy to blame yourself for the hurtful attitudes and bad behavior of others, especially family members. Very often, it’s outsiders and friends who will see the situation clearly and slowly convince us that we are not the ones at fault. That’s when maturity, growth, and healing have a chance to show us a better way forward.
This is an exceptionally well-written book, filled with painful truths about growing up, but also the joys of young love, anticipation, and the excitement of conquering new challenges. I loved the writing style, enjoyed the deep characterizations, and felt the ending was believable and satisfying. The author did a great job, and I look forward to reading more from her in the future. Highly recommended!
(reviewed 14 days after purchase)