Saturday, December 31, 2011

Review: Waiting to Forget by Sheila Kelly Welch

Publisher: Namelos
Number of Pages: 172
How I got this book: Netgalley
My rating: 5/5
Summary from Goodreads:
"T.J. has always looked out for his little sister, Angela. When Momma used to go out and leave them home alone, he'd lock the door so they'd be safe, keep Angela entertained, and get out the cereal and milk for her. When Momma's boyfriend got angry at them, he'd try to protect Angela. Later, at their foster homes, T.J. was the only one who knew how to coax his little sister out of her bad moods. The only one who understood why she made origami paper cranes and threw them out the window.But now T.J. is sitting in the waiting room at the hospital, wondering if Angela, unconscious after a fall, will ever wake up. Wondering, too, if he will ever feel at home with his and Angela's new parents—Marlene, who insists on calling him Timothy, and Dan, who seems to want a different son.Going back and forth between Now and Then, weaving the uncertain present with the painful past, T.J.'s story unfolds, and with the unfolding comes a new understanding of how to move forward."

As T.J. sits in the waiting room, waiting to hear if his sister is even alive, he is reflecting back on his and Angela's difficult life. Their mother neglected them often, at times was physically abusive, and often put them in dangerous situations. As I read this, I had to keep reminding myself that this was a work of fiction, and not a memoir. This was difficult as Welch writes in a way that makes it feel very real. It might seem like a depressing story, and I'll admit, it IS a sad story - the life that T.J. and Angela lived. But, it is also an uplifting story - the love between brother and sister, and the promise of a better life when they are adopted by Marlene and Dan.

I truly enjoyed Welch's writing style - I was pulled into the story from the beginning, and I was emotional through the whole book - heartbroken when these kids were treated so poorly and triumphant when they found a "forever home." In my opinion, it is a sign of an excellent book when I have such strong feelings for characters. I highly recommend this book.

This review can also be found on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Netgalley.


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