All her life, Aurora has heard stories about Heidi and all the good luck she brought Aurora's family. Aurora, though, doesn't feel very lucky. The kids at school think she's weird. And she's starting to think her mom thinks she's weird, too. Especially compared to Heidi. On the eve of a visit from Heidi, more bad luck hits Aurora's family. There's a fire in their attic, destroying a good part of their house. And, even worse, Aurora's beloved dog goes missing. Aurora and her family have always believed in soof -- Heidi's mom's word for love. But sometimes even when soof is right there in front of you, you still need to find it -- and that's exactly what Aurora is going to do.
Love is All Around
'Soof' by Sarah Weeks is a story that not only has a contemporary feel, but takes readers back to a seemingly gentler time. The setting of the book, while likely in present day, seems like it can just as easily be in the past. This feeling that it could have taken place at any time is a nice touch, as it will likely help the book to resonate across different age groups and stand the test of time.
The main character, Aurora, feels like she is somewhat weird, making her different from her classmates. Adding to this feeling is Aurora's mother's fascination with a good friend, Heidi, whom Aurora's parents raised when Heidi's parents weren't around. A stroke of bad luck occurs for the family, however, when a fire threatens their home, keeping them out of the house for the time period which was supposed to include Heidi's visit. Despite this misfortune, Aurora is pleased that she doesn't have to meet Heidi or try to live up to what she feels are her mother's expectations for her based on how she knows her mother feels about Heidi. Yet she also has to deal with the fact that her beloved dog, Duck, is also missing. The only friend she has ever really known, she makes it her only purpose to find Duck and bring him home.
The themes in 'Soof' are always present in everyday life, from feelings of loneliness to uncertainty, loss to comfort. Aurora learns that 'soof,' a word used in the book to mean 'love,' is often around in not-so-visible ways. She, along with readers, only need to learn to see it for what it is rather than tending to look for the not-so-good issues that regularly pop up as part of life in general. In 'Soof,' Sarah Weeks has written a story that readers will be able to connect with through common themes and an ending that brings the writing together nicely.