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Rabb, Margo. Cures for heartbreak, a novel.

RABB, Margo. Cures for heartbreak, a novel. Random House, Delacorte. 238p. c2007. 978-0-385-73402-8. $15.99. J *

This novel is based on the author's own experience when her mother died after a nine-day illness. The protagonist here is Mia, 15 years old and stunned by her mother's death. Mia's mother had gone into the hospital with a stomachache and emerged 12 days later in a coffin, a victim of cancer. Mia cannot quite take it in and doesn't know how to act. Equally stunned and equally confused are her father and older sister Alex, and the three are some-what at odds about how they should carry on and absorb this shattering event into the context of their lives. Mia finds her grief both embarrassing and overwhelming. She doesn't know whether to date or stay home. She doesn't know how to behave around her friends at school. She doesn't know how to treat her father. She does know her mother and father's relationship was not perfect and that her mother was an imperfect woman, and yet no one can speak the truth of the past to each other. Eventually, Mia's father becomes engaged to a woman wildly different from her mother and Mia must cope with the reality of the new relationship. That she does so realistically and complexly is a testament to the author's experience in dealing with the same issue and the many unexpected feelings that come into play. The language and voice are compelling. Relevant and thoughtful quotations head every chapter. The characters are fully formed and when the last page turns, four new and fascinating people have been born into the reader's consciousness. Myrna Marler, Assoc. Prof., BYU, Laie, HI

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.

*--The asterisk highlights exceptional books.
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Author:Marler, Myrna
Publication:Kliatt
Date:Jan 1, 2007
Words:305
Previous Article:Prosek, James. The day my mother left.
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