Author: Joan Bauer
Length: 185 pages
Synopsis: Ivy Breedlove is well on her way to becoming the black sheep of the family. Born into a family of lawyers, Ivy is passionate not about the law, but about history. Because her family believes that their profession is hereditary, Ivy has a real fight on her hands just to be who she is, let alone to collect and record her family’s history before her great aunt’s eightieth birthday. The test of Ivy’s determination to follow her passion comes in the form of finding the other black sheep who left the family fold years before to live on her own in the mountains. Ivy braves hazardous winter conditions and tests of both physical and mental strength to reach her Aunt Josephine. In Aunt Josephine, Ivy finds a trailblazer who has learned to skills necessary to forge her own path, just as Ivy desires to do. In the end, the family is reunited, and Ivy has the tools to become who she wants to be.
My Thoughts: I love Joan Bauer’s humorous and sarcastic style. This book, like all the others of hers I’ve read, has a strong female protagonist who does not quite fit into her world. This book is very similar in plot and theme to most of Bauer’s other books–i.e. female protagonist must go on a journey to find the strength to be herself in a world that wants her to be someone or something else. However, there are enough differences in this book to make it worthwhile. I particularly like Aunt Josephine. I appreciate her need for silence, and reading Bauer’s descriptions of her and her life of solitude almost makes me want to become a hermit in the Adirondacks. The only real problem I found with this book is that it is poorly edited, with numerous glaring errors. Other than that, I think this is a fun, easy book to enjoy.