Friday, June 13, 2014

Interrupted Book Review


Interrupted by Rachel Coker is about Alcyone (said Al-cee-u-nee), but she goes by Allie, and that is what we're going to call her for the rest of the book review.  This book starts out in 1939 and goes all the way through 1945 (World War II).  Allie turns 14 at the beginning of the book.  The book is written in two parts.  In Part Two, she skips to age 18, and by the end of the book,  she is 20 years old.

Allie's mother is dying of cancer.  Allie was born the year her Mom turned 47, she was her "miracle baby."  Only her Mom doesn't believe in God.  She and her mother have a little orange kitten, and a beautiful garden at their home in Tennessee.  Allie doesn't think she has a friend in the world, there's just annoying Sam Carroll, who follows her around everywhere.

Shortly after her 14th birthday, her mother dies, and she is sent to be adopted by Miss Beatrice Lovell in Maine.  Miss Beatrice is an older Christian woman whose husband has died.  She only has her daughter, Irene, and now her new daughter, Allie.

Shortly after she arrives in Maine, she meets a new girl named Charlotte.  Charlotte insists that everyone call her Charlie.  Allie and Charlie become fast friends.

Each chapter begins with part of an Emily Dickinson poem.  Allie very much enjoys Emily Dickinson, and is an aspiring poet.  Her Emily Dickinson poetry book was one of the few things she was able to bring to Maine.  This book is a great way to introduce someone to poetry, because there is just four lines of a poem at the beginning of each of the eighteen chapters.  I like poetry, but I never read much of it.  I enjoyed reading a little bit of poetry throughout the book.

The author definitely did a lot of historical research into the time period that she wrote about.  You can see the depth of her research to make this book authentic to the time period in the description of the clothing and styles.  Also, the musicians, actors, and the movie in the book were perfectly placed.  The differing attitudes towards the war were also well depicted.

The romance was really sweet without being overly physical.  There is not even one kiss, but the reader still feels like there is nothing missing to the romance.  Actually, there are multiple romantic stories going on with different characters in the book.  I would not classify this book as a Romance.  I think my nine year old cousin would enjoy this book, but my grandma would probably really like the story, too.

Character development throughout the book was really, really good.  I appreciate character development in a book, because in real life we are constantly changing and growing.  The growth of the characters was depicted really well, not just in the main characters, but also in the side characters.  The book is Allie's journey from a teen to an adult, from a non-believer to a believer, and from a sweet teenager, to a bitter teenager, to a joyful adult.

This is homeschool author Rachel Coker's debute novel.  I previously reviewed her second novel, Chasing Jupiter.  This book was definitely not as sad as Chasing Jupiter.  I loved the characters in Chasing Jupiter, but I like Interrupted even better.  Actually, Interrupted has surpassed The Outsiders as my favorite stand alone novel.  I gave this book five out of five stars.  I'm recommending this book for ages 9 until you're dead, but if a younger child is going to read this, take into account that there is death, sadness, war, and a little bit of romance, so this is not for just any 9 year old.

Now, I'm going to talk about spoilers.  If you don't want to know any more about this book, before you read the story yourself, stop now.  Do not read any further, unless you don't mind some spoilers.  They're mainly just me talking about my favorite and least favorite parts of the book, but I wouldn't want to read what I'm about to write, if I had not read the book yet.  Now's your chance to stop reading.

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I felt soooo bad for Sam when he got Allie exactly what she wanted for her birthday.  She just treated him so badly.  Rude!

When her Mom died, it wasn't too sad, because you already know that her Mom is going to die.  I was super sad, and crying, when she couldn't take her kitten with her.  I have a kitten, and I was thinking how sad I would feel to leave my little baby kitten.  I was really happy, when later in the book, Sam tells Allie that the people who are living in her old house were taking care of the kitten.

When Allie and Charlie first met, I didn't really like Charlie.  As the book went along, I wound up really liking Charlie.

I really liked the scene when Allie is at a party, and she sees Sam for the first time in four years.  Allie doesn't recognize him at first.  When she does finally recognize him, she is embarrassed, because he knew who she was the whole time.

I thought it was really nice of Sam to pretty much set Allie up to be adopted by Miss Beatrice.  Otherwise, she could have ended up at an orphanage, or in the foster care system (if it existed back then), and just had a really rough life.  Her life was already rough, it didn't need to be any worse.

I really like how gentlemanly Sam was all the time.  He would bow in the middle of a grocery store.  He kissed ladies hands.  He made me wish for an old fashioned man.

I really liked the scene where Allie, Sam, Russell, Charlie, and Irene go to the movies, but some of them decide to leave early and go to the fair.  Then they all go on the Ferris wheel, and Allie was all scared of heights.  She was exactly like I was on the Ferris wheel, except I didn't have a handsome gentleman sitting next to me, or a young man below me who needed to use the restroom.  Also, I didn't get stuck on the top of the Ferris wheel.  And I didn't miss curfew, because the Ferris wheel got stuck, even though I think I was out later than she was.

I especially liked when Allie and Sam went driving in the country to get paint thinner.  They talked about where they wanted to live when they were older.  They both wanted to live in the country.  Sam obviously wanted to live with Allie, but she didn't take the hint, and the whole thing is just adorable.

When Sam was younger, he cut his hands on roses helping Allie in her garden in Tennessee. In Maine, he cuts his foot on the beach with her.  Both times, Allie bandages him up.  I loved how she said the same things to him both times.  After the cut on the beach, he says "Once again, I thank you for tending my wounds." (pg 183).

I want this book to be made into a movie.  I could play Allie, because I think I look the most like her.  I would happily play any of the female characters, though I don't look like them.

Later, Allie finds out that Sam is going off to war with Russell.  She totally freaks out and runs after him.  She leaves the soda shop, and hops in her car to go talk with him.  She shoves him, and they argue about him going to war.  Allie admits that she loves him, and hits him with her high heel!  I couldn't help laughing picturing the whole thing.  Sam asks her to marry him then and there.  Allie accepts his proposal.  Sam goes off to war, and they agree to write to one another.

On the other hand, Charlie and Russell get married before he leaves for war.  That was actually a stipulation of his parents.  Russell had to get married before he could become a soldier.

I had a bunch of theories, and only three of them actually happened. One was that Sam would become a soldier and go off to the war.  The second was that he would go missing in action.  The third was that his leg would get injured.

Allie becomes a Christian while Sam is off in the war (he was already a Christian).  Allie reads her adopted Mom's Bible outside, and accidentally leaves it out in the rain.  She reads the records in the Bible and sees the events in Miss Beatrice's life, leading up to her first daughter dying, and then the adoption of Irene.  Allie always thought Miss Beatrice loved Irene more because she was her "real" child, but really they were both adopted all along.  Miss Beatrice loved them both the same, regardless of being adopted.

Sam comes back from the war at the end of the book.  It's a sweet happy ending.  I could have used a few more chapters, like of their wedding day.  Actually I would have loved an epilogue of five year later, their house in the country, the children with weird star names like Alcyone, and just more happiness.




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