Wild Things by Clay Carmichael
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
After her mother commits suicide, Zoe’s life completely changes—surprisingly, for the better. She goes to live with her Uncle Henry, a doctor-turned-artist, in his big house in a small town. With Uncle Henry, Zoe doesn’t have to take care of anyone except herself, unlike when she had to live with her mother and her male “friends.”
When not in school, Zoe spends her time trying to earn the trust of a stray cat she names Mr. C-mere, writing in her journal, and cleaning up an abandoned cabin she finds in the woods at the edge of Uncle Henry’s property. She is happy with her life with Uncle Henry and with the friendly adults she meets through him.
This is a good story about a young girl who is definitely a survivor. Some of the story is questionable (like how did she learn to read on her own, or how is she so ‘okay’ with her mother taking her own life?) but the good parts definitely outweigh the questionable parts. Another nice aspect of this story is how Carmichael incorporated the Japanese folktale The Boy Who Drew Cats. This prompted me to want to learn more about that folktale, so I read a version adapted by Margaret Hodges (and put another version on hold at the library). My next review will be about the Hodges version.
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