Breier, Davida. Sinkhole. May. 240p. University of New Orleans Press.
Michelle Miller finally got herself out of Lorida, Florida on a swimming scholarship and never looked back. Now, 15 years later, she’s returning to see her dying mother, and, unavoidably, confront her painful past. Back then, she was poor—she shared a bedroom in a trailer with her brother—and reclusive; she didn’t come alive until she met Sissy, a rich and rambunctious classmate. They were soon joined by Morrison, a queer punk rock kid, and their dysfunctional little family was complete. From shoplifting in department stores to hanging out in gay bars, Sissy offers fun in technicolor, but it comes at a price: possessiveness, dramatic mood swings, and ultimately violence. But it isn’t until she’s at college in Georgia that Michelle begins to understand how much of her youth Sissy destroyed, and how little of it she’ll ever get back. The surprising ending—with some extraordinary revelations—is downright healing. And while there is criminal behavior, it’s on the sidelines of the story, never at the center. A wonderful tale about the power of friendship to transcend evil that young adults should also appreciate.—Brian Kenney