Book: Greetings from Nowhere
Author: Barbara O'Connor
Aggie just can't keep her motel going after the death of her beloved husband. Willow is in a deep depression after her parents' divorce and her mother's departure. Kirby has pushed his mother to the limit, and is on his way to reform school. Loretta is retracing the path of her unknown birth mother.
All these people and their families come together unexpectedly in a tumbledown motel in the middle of the Smoky Mountains, and discover that it is possible to fill the holes that loved ones have left behind.
Number of Pages: 200
Why Did I Hype?: I liked one of her previous novels, How to Steal a Dog.
Live-Up-to-the-Hype Score: 8/10
Aggie, Willow, and Kirby were the strongest characters for me. While Loretta, the fourth lead, was supposed to be on a quest for her birth mother, I never felt her as strongly as I did the others. She seemed to be the Pollyanna character, there for the function of perking everyone else up with her optimism and enthusiasm. I have a hard time with Pollyannas.
Although Loretta is supposed to be in fifth grade, she struck me as being younger. It could be because Willow, who is in fourth, is so quiet and sad that she looks older in contrast.
The most satisfying conclusions were Aggie's and Willow's. I wish we'd gotten more closure with Kirby, who is just starting to soften up and believe in his own likeability when his mother takes him away to the reform school. Loretta's story is so thin that it's wound up quickly and without fuss.
Still, this book was pretty good. If you're looking for a quickly readable story about the power of emotional connections to heal, try Greetings from Nowhere.