rgz

readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rgz Salon: Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams, reviewed by Sharon Levin

Awesome book reviewer/book evangelist Sharon Levin is here as part of the rgz SALON, a feature where four of the top kidlit experts clue us in to the best YA novels they've read recently. Today, she reviews Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams (Simon & Schuster, 2010).

Here's Sharon:

"In one moment
it is over:
In one moment
it is gone.
The morning grows
thin, gray

and our lives—
how they were—
have vanished.Our lives have
changed

when I walk
in on Lizzie
my sister
holding a shotgun.

She fingers the trigger.

Looks up.
My sister.
My sister just looks
up at me.

Touching
the trigger

of that gun.


"And so begins Glimpse the impossible to put down novel by Carol Lynch Williams.

"Ever since Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust we have seen an upsurge in ‘verse novels’ and I’ve known friends who will often dismiss a book unread as they say, 'Oh no, I’m not reading another of those.'

"If they do that with Glimpse they will miss out on an amazing reading experience made more intense because of the spare text, the white space and the tight, tight verse.

"Hope and Lizzie are sisters who are amazingly close. Their father got killed in a motorcycle accident when they were very young and their mother is full of pain, blame and often, beer.

"Once, when Hope and Lizzie were almost six and seven, their mother returned after working all night and looked at her girls,

Then she said,
It is your job,
Liz,
to take care of your
little sister.

And you, Hope,
Momma said
her finger pointing like
she meant it,
you take care of Lizzie.

You hear me?


"And with that, she places the responsibility for the sisters squarely on each other’s shoulders (and off of hers).

"It works for quite a while. Hope and Lizzie adore each other, they have a neighbor, Miss Freeman, who looks out for them and who says to their mother, 'Ms. Chapman, I love these girls like they was my own.'

"Glimpse moves back and forth between present (with Lizzie in a mental hospital) and past, showing a happier time and the disintegration of that time, even while Hope doesn’t fully realize what is happening, because Lizzie is still doing her job and taking care of/protecting Hope (and wow, I didn’t realize the significance of her name until I wrote that sentence – Lizzie’s goal is hanging on to hope/Hope).

"Hope, and the reader, come to realize what has been happening even while we try to remain in denial over the horrors of Lizzie’s life.

"Glimpse is heartbreaking, inspiring and unputdownable (new word). After finishing the book, I just sat and let it soak in for awhile. Even now, whenever I see Glimpse on the shelf, I think, 'That is one AMAZING book' and I find myself wishing Hope and Lizzie well."

3 comments:

Melissa Walker said...

This sounds so lovely!

Erin said...

Wow, those opening lines certainly hooked me.

Micol Ostow said...

LOVED that book! Read it in one night while I was away in August!