This is a story about a family that lives on and owns a horse ranch in the desert. The desert is in Colorado, which I never knew had a desert. It is told by a 12-year-old girl. Their situation is sad, even desperate sometimes. But good things happen too, and the ending isn't the happiest, but it is hopeful.
I liked the writing style, and I appreciate that there are no angels in the book. Every character has flaws. I even struggled with Alice (the 12-year-old), who, although I felt sorry for her, wasn't always super likeable. I do think that is nice, making your characters realistic. I liked the characters she created, and I appreciate that she stayed away from common stereotypes.
I'm not the kind of person who keeps her emotions and feelings bottled up. I don't have a dad that did that, so I was frusterated by the interactions between these two. Sometimes I just wanted to scream, "give her a hug and tell her you love her," or "just tell him your clothes are too small," you know, stuff like that.
Here are some quotes to give you a feel for it:
"Tomorrow, in the honest truth of daylight, our own private swimming pool would be only what it was: a rusty bucket made for watering livestock."
"(I) wondered how I could have believed I was protecting anyone from anything. The world was what it was. There were no secrets. There were only things that went unsaid."
"The places we come from don't leave us as easily as we leave them."
I really liked how the weather was a reflection of the events in the story. For so many months they are enduring a heat wave and drought, then the moment something amazing happens for Alice, the rains come. At the end the snow comes at the onset of their grieving.
I liked reading this book, it's an unintimidating 300 or so pages, but does have obscenities. The story is creative and the characters original. It gave me a glimpse into a life much different and much more difficult than mine.