"The VanderZees seem like an average American family. Malcolm, a professor at a small Midwestern college, and Esme, a lapsed artist, are raising four kids in a chaotic but loving home. Yet in Lorna J. Cook's charming and wryly comic first novel, the individuals in this eccentric clan also dwell in richly imagined worlds of their own. Poised at the edge of adulthood, seventeen-year-old Suzen VanderZee feels herself to be on the verge of something extraordinary and aches for her future to begin. Fifteen-year-old Evan is bored with his small-town life and dreams of travel, while at the same time is mesmerized by Soci, the new girl at school. Hallie, perhaps the most secretive of the lot, spends hours in her room contemplating life with her pet rat, Cupcake. And Aimee, the youngest, is convinced that she can fly, after a sudden and frighteningly close brush with death." As Suzen realizes a crush may be the start of a serious relationship and Evan considers running away with Soci, the author illustrates the exhilaration and anxiety the two teenagers experience as they teeter on the brink of adulthood.
A story about family member claiming their own identities. Family members that seem so ordinary to the outside world can sometimes be verrrry deceiving!
Lots of twists and turns dealing with the intricacies of a "normal" American family.
The Vanderzees are always going somewhere, if only in their minds. Suzen is on the verge of graduating from high school, but college isn't where she wants to go, nor is she being honest about who she really is. Perhaps she is too preoccupied with the comings and goings of her mother, whose mysterious phone calls and indifference to the domesticities of the Vanderzee household have become painfully obvious. Then there's young Evan, who seems to be the only one who is actually going where he wants to, but he's chosen an unbalanced companion in Soci, a first love who represents all things rebellious. While they desperately try to sort through their lives, Suzen's father sits in his den leafing through old travel magazines, endlessly planning a trip to Italy that he never seems to take. Cook expertly communicates the very cryptic nature of life's cycles, conveying through her entertaining family that life is always in transition, no matter how stable it appears.