Haunting Sorrow & Sincere Hope
Amber Lee is almost ten years old. She lives with her mother and the two of them have been moving all of her life. In the last five years, Amber has been to twelve different schools, so shes used to being the new girl. The worst part is that she never gets to say good-bye.
The frequent and unpredictable moves are necessary to hide from her mothers violent ex-boyfriends. Amber and her mom are like a team, and her mom is really Ambers only friend in the world. There was one time, when one of the ex-boyfriends came back to find them in their apartment, and Amber and her mother fought together to close the door on him. Amber remembers how safe she felt, how relieved she was when she heard the click of the lock. They fled the next day.
Even though her mom might not always be there for her, Amber knows that the love between them is strong. Ambers love for her mom is unconditional love of the purest form. Regardless of what addictions her mom might have or what she does for a living, Amber is never angry or resentful. Instead, she depends on her mom for love and protection.
One way for Amber to copy with her rough life is with her imagination. When things get especially bad, she pretends that she is in a fantasy world where she is a princess and nothing bad can happen to her. Recently though, she has been plagued by The Voice. A nightmare come to life that haunts her with all of her worst memories.
Her 10th birthday is in just a few days, but with the bumpy ride that is her life, Amber has no idea what her birthday has in store for her.
Dave Webb tells a difficult story authentically through Ambers eyes, describing situations and thoughts in the way that only a child can. He thoroughly explores the relationship between mother and daughter in a story so touching that it brought tears to my eyes. While this story is written in a way that younger children will be able to understand and relate, some of the themes of violence and drugs might not be appropriate for younger children. This book is labeled as suitable for 14+, but I think if there are mature younger readers whose parents approve, they would learn a lot from Ambers story as well. By the same token, although this story is written from the perspective of a ten-year-old, older readers are sure to enjoy and relate to Ambers story as well. Reading this story made me cherish my family so much more, and made me more grateful for the stable life that Im living right now.