I like to participate in life rather than be a spectator. Music, dancing, theatre, travelling, food, cycling and walking are some of my passions. Writing is an enjoyable pastime that allows me to share my experiences.
Published December 26th 2018
A novel full of family
Have you ever reached the last page of a book and felt like starting back at page one to revisit the story? This was my experience reading this book. I had read it so quickly that I wanted to take more time to get lost in the beautifully written words. Lenny's Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee is 352 pages of heart-rending fiction.
The story is complex, tragic, touching, humorous and heartwarming, it is about love and loss and the characters are so well described that you feel that you know them. Set in Ohio in the early seventies, older readers may feel nostalgic for simpler times when knowledge was gleaned from books, not the internet.
The main characters are the 'ordinary' single parent Spinks family. Lenny (Lenore) is the protective big sister to lovable, growing Davey who is unusually big for his age and their mother Cynthia works two jobs and is "made almost entirely put of worries".
The story is told in Lenny's voice and you can feel the yearning in her for a more traditional, normal family life. She craves knowledge of her absent father and as the "dark heart feelings" grow, she desperately searches for a connection with her extended family.
As issues "Burrell's Build-It-At-Home Encyclopedia" arrive and Davey grows, one becomes more involved with the family. The inevitable conclusion draws near and the Spinks are forced to let people into their tight little unit to find themselves part of a loving supportive community.
You will be reading the last chapters in tears, if like me, you grow to love this flawed little family. Although marketed as a book for young adults Lenny's Book Of Everything is more than suitable for older readers and is a story that will stay with you long after the last page.