My One Square Inch of Alaska: A Novel by Sharon Short
I was expecting a 1950’s coming of age story and I got that but I also got so much more with this great story. Donna a high school senior and her little brother Will live in Ohio their mother is dead and their father has taken up drinking and isolates himself from his children and the world. Donna takes care of everything around the house including cooking and taking care of Will plus going to school, working at her grandmothers diner and doing alterations at a dress shop where she dreams of getting out of Ohio and becoming a seamstress or a designer. Will is trying to win a cereal/TV Show contest eating as much cereal as he can to send in his box tops to win his very own one square inch of Alaska, but Donna starts noticing that Will’s health is deteriorating and so begins their amazing journey.
This book was so much more than I expected it to be, it is about grief and friendship, family, dreams and first loves and this all comes together to become a great story. It is hard to review this book because there is so much going on in Donna’s life and I don’t want to give anything away to harm your enjoyment of how the story unfolds. You will fall in love with Will, with his kind heart and naiveté and his outlook on life even through the difficulties. My other favorite character is MayJune who brings this light and calm to both Donna & Will. There is also the story of Will and the junkyard dog he rescues which is a great story on its own. Least favorite characters would have to be their simpering father, the never happy grandmother and Hank (who I wish we could have found out finally got his in the end!).
I really enjoyed this book and finished it in 2 days it will grab at your heart and make you feel for the characters. This book has a similar feel to books like Saving CeeCee Honeycutt or The Homecoming of Samuel Lake it is very well written and I will be looking for other books this author has written.
I would highly recommend this book to young adult and adults alike and could also see it becoming a bookclub book because it will have some interesting discussions with a myriad of topics this book evokes.
4 ½ Stars
Full Disclosure I received this book from the Librarything Early Reviewer Program and the publisher for a fair and honest review.