Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Once was Lost by Sara Zarr
Samara Taylor used to believe in miracles. She used to believe in a lot of things. As a pastor's kid, it's hard not to buy in to the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reason to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. When a young girl in her small town is kidnapped, the local tragedy overlaps with Sam's personal one, and the already-worn thread of faith holding her together begins to unravel.
In her third novel, acclaimed author Sara Zarr examines the coexistence of affliction and hope, and what happens when everything you thought you believed—-about God, about your family, about yourself—-is transformed.
Let me keep this short: Samara may be the pastor's daughter, but her story isn't a preachy one.
Once Was Lost touches on faith, but not just about faith in a higher power, but more on one's faith in others. Zarr writes a story of a girl who is relatable in her confusion and sad in her wanting to be alone. But it was her experience with her mother with the added element of addiction/alcoholism that came across as real.
I'd been complaining of how fake I felt Stevie was in Flyaway. In that one I felt that the Stevie was needlessly optimistic and that she thought and spoke in a way an adult expects a teenager to speak/act. I encountered no such problem with Sam who read confused, angry, sad... authentic. One of the lines that stuck is her describing her feelings as those of resistance, doubt and suspicion.
She says it all, doesn't she?