Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
Published: December 1, 2010 by Little, Brown Books
Source: Gifted by Estelle - thank you!
Things in Delilah Hannaford's life have a tendency to fall apart.
She used to be a good student, but she can't seem to keep it together anymore. Her "boyfriend" isn't much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.
Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family's painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?
Rich with emotion, Sarah Ockler delivers a powerful story of family, love, and self-discovery. [goodreads]
I'm still a newbie when it comes to Sarah Ockler books. With this being my second book of her's to finish, I'm a bit surprised that it's taken me this long to truly discover her beautiful writing. I feel that Ockler deserves the same attention as someone like Sarah Dessen does in the YA contemporary market. More people need be reading her books and sharing her beautiful stories. They are very well-rounded, complete with family issues, self discovery, and a swoon-worthy romance. All of these elements embody the essence of what makes YA contemporary so enriching.
Delilah is on her way to Red Falls, Vermont with her mother for the summer. But it's a trip that wasn't exactly planned, especially since the two of them haven't been back to this lakeside town in over eight years. The occasion that brings them back is a somber one, the death of Delilah's grandmother. Things aren't exactly peachy between Delilah and her mother, either. There's been a budding tension between the two of them and this trip back to her mother's childhood home, the same place Delilah spent every summer up until eight years ago, is only causing more bumps in this already rocky relationship.
No one ever told Delilah why they stopped coming here, so many years ago, or why her grandmother and this town were erased from their lives so abruptly. The mystery behind all of this slowly unfolds as Delilah settles into the lake house that once housed so many summer-filled memories. She rekindles a friendship with the boy next door, Patrick, and a promising romance soon develops. But as Delilah still remains on the sidelines, wondering what happened all those years ago, why her mother and Aunt are keeping secrets from her, it all becomes too much.
The setting for this story is magical. I could picture everything from the maple leaf trees to the shimmering lake, from the bustling Main street lined with a candy store and coffee shop, to the old Victorian style homes. It posed as the ideal backdrop for a story so rich and deep as this one. The relationship between Delilah and her mother, and the family's past always remain in the forefront. While the new relationships Delilah manages with Patrick and Emily fill out the edges. I felt an honest, real connection that brought me even closer into this story.
If you're like me and still somewhat new to Ockler's writing, I highly recommend starting with this one. She writes with such beauty and awe that it makes it difficult not to feel connected to this story. I particularly have a fondness for books set during the summertime, and don't mind a summer romance thrown in as well. But this book not only delivered on that, it also told a story about family and how secrets can damage the ones we love, even though we think we are protecting them. I adore Ockler's storytelling and will definitely be reading more by this fabulous YA contemporary author.