Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Pictures of Hollis Woods

(From the back of the book:)
Hollis Woods
-is the place where a baby was abandoned
-is the baby's name
-is an artist
-is now a twelve-year-old girl

Her routine is this: get to a foster home, be disagreeable, earn the contempt of her foster family, run away, get caught, and start all over again. Actually, it sounds like she would start out trying to make it work. She was always hoping to find a family where she belonged. But something would happen, something went wrong, and she took the blame, and running away was her solution.

That's what happened at the last place, with the Regans. They were special. They wanted her, and she wanted them. It was magical, until something happened and she had to run again, but she still thinks of the family she almost had. Now she's living with Josie, a fun artist who needs her to remember when it's time for lunch. The time Hollis spent with the Regans is juxtaposed (like that word? Thanks, Ms. Agena) with her time with Josie, and they come together nicely at the end.

It's well-crafted, with all the elements of literature I remember from back in the day. Nice. I enjoyed it too. I almost cried, except that I was at the mechanic when I read most of it, and that would have looked dumb.

What I really liked was the presentation of family. Hollis sees it as variable, since she's had so many. She sees it as something she can run away from and start over again, if something goes wrong. But with the Regans (and most families), it's static. everything is fixable, or at least tolerable, and you face a problem instead of run away from it. You can't be kicked out of a family just because you did something wrong. It's that unconditional love. And that's important.

1 comment:

  1. I keep seeing that book and never read it. I'll have to pick it up sometime.

    I can't cry at the mechanic's, either.