This is one of the best YA books that I’ve read about depression and eating disorders. It illustrates what it’s like to be a teenager in the 21st century.
Feather Tucker loves her mum, competitive swimming, her goat Houdini and her best friend, Jake. She is a teenager, who loves unconditionally, is non-judgemental and tries to help others selflessly.
Feather comes home on New Year’s Eve to find her mum, Jo, in a diabetic coma. She is seriously overweight, hasn’t left the house in years and binges on junk food.
Feather is determined to get her mum healthy again and devises a plan to help her. She soon finds out that her mum isn’t interested in getting healthy. Feather starts to suspect that there is an underlying reason for her mum’s behaviour. She doesn’t understand why her dad keeps sabotaging her efforts. No-one will tell her what’s going on.
Clay, a new boy, arrives in the village to stay with his grandpa, Rev. Cootes. He used to live here when he was much younger, but something happened causing him and his mother to move to America. There is a shared guilty secret, which is feeding Jo’s overeating and Clay’s struggle with food avoidance.
Virginia MacGregor sensitively addresses so many important issues here including depression, eating disorders, immigration, loneliness, sexuality and mental health. The setbacks suffered by the characters are realistic. You will empathise with their struggles and applaud their bravery.
This is a touching, heart-warming tale about a tragedy, which turns out to have a happy ending.
This book earns a well-deserved 4 stars.