Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Door Near Here by Heather Quarles

A Door Near Here by Heather Quarles
Pages: 240

Without even noticing, 15-year-old Katherine has become the head of her household. She hasn't had time to notice. Her single mother, an out-of-work alcoholic, has been in bed for weeks, leaving Katherine and her three younger siblings to band together and fend for themselves. But it has gotten harder and harder to maintain any sort of stability. There's no time for housework, food and money are running out, and the kids' teachers are starting to get suspicious. Worst of all, Katherine's youngest sister, Alisa, seems to be losing her grip on reality; she is obsessed with finding a door to the imaginary land of Narnia. And the longer they all struggle to maintain their pretense of normality, the more they have to fear--and to lose.

This book actually made me seriously, very sad. Like not crying sad but like, oh my gosh, kids out there are actually living like that. Heather gave me a real eye-opener through this book into the lives of kids who have alcoholic parents.  Now I know that not all kids in this situation are exactly the same, but they are similar.

The characters are Katherine, Douglas, Tracey, Alisa, the mom, and Mr. Douglas.
Katherine is the strong-willed 14-year-old who wants nothing but the best for her younger siblings. Douglas is the know-it-all brother who is harmless as a teddybear and doesn't like seeing his mother or family like it is.  Tracey is the ever-so-popular girl who also wants to help but doesn't exactly know how to.  Alisa is the youngest and she is kind of insane, but for an eight-year-old girl, it happens.  She thinks that she can go to Narnia (because she is obsessed with the C.S. Lewis books), to help her family.  She's adorable really.  the mom, she is an alcoholic whom we don't see very often because quite usually she's locked in her room in a drunk sleep.  Mr. Douglas is Katherine's religious teacher who in the end proves a loyal friend.

The plot of this books is kind of obvious, it's about four siblings with an alcoholic mother, who just want to get enough food to make it through the night.

This book, being so small and so good as it was, only took me about a day to read it.  My heart goes out to anyone in this situation.

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