Saturday, August 2, 2014
Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick
When we first meet Amber, she is living with her mother and dog in the school bus her mother drives. It is all against the rules, of course, but they have nowhere else to go. Amber's mom drinks too much and has had a string of too many worthless boyfriends to make any kind of successful life for her and her daughter.
Amber makes her way with the amazing people in her life. She met her outcast friends (The Five) in an elementary school special needs class and stills hangs with them in a marketing club led by the coolest teacher, Mr. Franks. One of the Five, Ricky, has a lawyer mother named Donna who Amber idolizes and sometimes wishes was her own mother. The residents of the Methodist Retirement Home who she visits once a week to help keep their spirits up. Father Chee, the priest of the previously mentioned church. And Private Jackson, a secluded Vietnam veteran.
There is a chapter where Amber explains how she meets Private Jackson that is amazing. It could almost stand on its own as a really short story. When I finished it, I could only think how remarkable it was.
Amber faces (and hides) from tragedy. She questions the point of it all and her own worth in such a difficult world. She is a fascinating character.
For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's site.