Nest by Esther Ehrlich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book broke my heart into a million tiny little pieces, and I'm still trying to find a way to put it back together again.
A little girl nicknamed Chirp lives on Cape Cod in the early 1970s. Her mother, a dancer, is quickly stricken with a disease, and later depression, and Chirp has to learn to kind of cope with everything that goes along with that.
It's a heartbreaker for a lot of reasons, both personal and otherwise. As someone who has his own depression issues and is a parent, this book hit close to home even if I'm not anywhere near the extremes of Chips's mom. But there were moments in this book where I literally had to toss down my Kindle in frustration and sadness because, guys, this book is so sad. And the way Chirp and her friend cope with everything in the end is both empowering and heartbreaking in its own way.
I don't have a relationship with this book the way I do, say, The Start of Me and You. There's one flaw in this, and that's the unfortunate fact that this is a story that's too heavy for younger readers, but written toward younger readers in a way that might lose the older ones who would benefit the most from it. Still, as a basic work of fiction? Geez. Just one of the more impactful and solid reads I've experienced in a long time.
This is one of those books everyone should track down and read. It won't take you long, and it will really do a number on you in a good way. I wish all books impacted me the way this one did, and I hope it finds its way into the hands of kids who would really benefit from it, if only so they know that there are other people who understand the sort of suffering in play.
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