May 3, 2012
Tell us We're Home by Marina Budhos
Jaya is from Trinidad, Maria is from Mexico, and Lola is from Slovakia. The girls couldn't be more different, except for two things: They're all the daughters of maids and nannies in their prosperous suburban town of Meadowbrook, and they all long to fit in and succeed among their more privileged peers. But when Jaya's mother is accused of stealing some valuable jewelry from her employer, the seemingly liberal town of Meadowbrook becomes a place of ugly tensions and racism, and the girls' friendship threatens to buckle under the strain.
Once again, Marina Budhos has written a thoughtful and ambitious novel about class and the cultural differences that can both divide and unite.
Jaya, Lola, and Maria were alright characters, but there was nothing really world shaking about them or their story. Because I didn't really identify very well with them, and I kept getting confused about how old they were. Apparently, they're eighth graders, but you don't ever really hear that in the book. So your sitting there the entire time thinking, "How old are these kids?!" because the writer jumps around so much with their thoughts and actions. Now, the story really had some good points, but the author didn't communicate them very well. Because in the end, the author brings back a school dance, that was mentioned only once in the book, so by the time you read about it, you were like, "What?" because you had forgotten completely about it til then. And another thing, can you say, "Hallmark movie?" Because everything turns out all right for these kids in the end. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book, but that's all you'll be getting out of me.
This was a lonely land of firsts, where no one, not even your parents, could help you cross over.