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Tuesday Storm was named for Hollywood beauty Tuesday Weld by her superficial mother who likes to name all her children after movie stars. Despite the challenges of life with her older, polio stricken sister- including competing for her mother’s attention- she has a relatively happy, normal American childhood. All of that changes when double tragedy strikes within a matter of months and she becomes the object of abuse and neglect.
Despite the disturbing subject matter, the writing is well-crafted but never emotionally manipulative or maudlin, which made this a surprisingly enjoyable read. At times, however, the narration feels too controlled and factual and, while this creates a clear sense of the protagonists own confusion and ambivalence towards her tormentors, it also leaves the reader lacking grounds for the empathy they want to feel.
The narrator does have a very strong voice at the beginning of the story that, disappointingly, loses its distinctiveness halfway through. Nonetheless, she is an inspiring character and the reader is drawn in by her schemes to overcome her insufferable situation. Her attempt at lock picking is particularly ingenious and her successes at thwarting efforts to humiliate, degrade and demean her are as poignant as her defeats.
This is a powerful story, one that will doubtless stay with you long after you’ve finished it. There are few moments of joy, fewer moments of redemption and no definitive resolutions so, if you like to feel good before you finish the last page, this book is not for you. However, if you’ve ever asked the question, "How could someone be so cruel?” or wondered how anyone can turn a blind eye to abuse, this is an interesting read that will not only provide insight, but just may change the way you think about your own responsibility towards the vulnerable in society. For that reason I would rate this book a 3 out of 4.
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