Meg has a secret…actually it is the family’s secret. Her father is an alcoholic. Meg makes up elaborate stories so that people won’t come over and set him off or see him drunk. The whole family has learned to walk on eggshells around him and they have moved many times to accommodate his inability to stay sober and engaged on the job. No surprise, his father was an alcoholic, too, and he was physically and verbally abused as a child.
The mother tries to hold everything together and the whole family (including older brother and younger sister) believes that it is their responsibility to help the father stay sober. They do have help in a kind aunt and uncle who almost know what is going on but the code of silence and fear of reprisal keeps the secret safe…for a while.
It is a tough topic that Ms. Day handles with great understanding, care and sensitivity. I even met Ms. Day at a friend’s 50th birthday party (I know, can you believe I know people who are turning 50?) She is warm, lovely and down-to-earth. It is funny for me to meet an author and then read their book – that also happened with Mitali Perkins, another lovely YA author (who also lives in Newton). I will write about her soon. I promise. My daughter just finished No Cream Puffs also by Karen Day, and I will read that next.