Read while home alone? definitely
Tissues needed? yes
Overall rating: 5 stars
Up From the Blue tells two important parts of Tillie Harris’ life story. The book jumps between the year she was eight years old and her current life as a pregnant woman in labor. Tillie’s childhood was interesting with a father in the military and a mom whose moods were unpredictable. Tillie struggles to be loved, make friends, and understand her world. The adult Tillie still has some unresolved emotions about her family that will impact her soon-to-be-born child unless she can work through them. Family tensions run high throughout the book, leaving the reader wondering how Tillie’s life will ever work itself out.
This is Susan Henderson’s first novel and it’s an outstanding one. I enjoyed the alternating stories, and Henderson expertly wove the pieces together to help me understand just how past events shaped Tillie’s present. Tillie’s mom was portrayed with compassionate realism, a tough line to walk. Henderson managed details perfectly: enough to draw me into the story, but she didn’t overdo it.
This was a surprise find for me on the “New Book” shelf at my library, and I’m so glad I picked it up! I’m looking forward to reading Henderson’s next offering.
Is there one year in your life that had a significant impact on you? What effect does a daughter’s relationship with her mom have on her as a mother? Have you found any great new authors lately?