Holy Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Batman! There is a new coming of age novel on the scene and it’s awesome! Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer tells the story of thirteen-year-old Apron Bramhall. Apron is going through a lot. Her mother died, and her father has started a relationship with someone who can only be described as “the stepmother from Hell.” In the midst of all of the family drama in Apron’s life, she is dropped by her best friend for a more popular girl. Apron needs support from friends and family more than ever, but she isn’t being supported emotionally by any of the people who should be there for her. Instead she finds support from the most unlikeliest of sources: Jesus. Or rather Mike, the actor that played Jesus in a local theater version of Jesus Christ Superstar. When Apron befriends Mike and his boyfriend Chad, they quickly realize she needs them. Mike and Chad help her through a really tough time in her life by letting her hang out with them and work at their flower shop. It soon becomes clear to Apron that Mike and Chad need Apron as much as she needs them.
Jennifer Gooch Hummer has created a powerful novel. And just like Judy Blume’s 1970 novel, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. dealt with tough issues like religion, navigating the tween social landscape, and dealing with slowly developing into a woman, Hummer’s novel deals with complicated and tough issues teens faced in the 1980’s and still face today. Death, grief, infidelity, and alienation are just some of the issues Apron faces throughout the novel. Girl Unmoored takes place in 1985 when “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” was on the radio and the country was just learning about a deadly disease called AIDS.
Girl Unmoored is a profound and touching story that had me from page one. The thought that this is Jennifer Gooch Hummer’s debut novel is amazing. I will read anything she writes in the future. But I must warn you: Have a box of tissues next to you while you read Girl Unmoored. I cried buckets during about the last quarter of the book.
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