Torn yellow paper dolls being held together with sticky tape, held by hands with chipped nail varnish. I feel like the symbolism is accurate for the story.
Delilah doesn’t know why her mother’s relationship with her family is so strained, and as we read on it is difficult not to fall in love with each and every character.
Patrick, (I think we’ll probably all choose him). He’s just *sigh* so nice.
Delilah and her Mum spend the summer closing up her Grandmother’s house.
The family secrets come to light and each character has to face their own personal demons.
Satisfying to say the least.
I loved this book so much.
Claire, Delilah’s Mum, begins the story with her head firmly up her butt. Sure she knew things weren’t going well, but by the end she had become someone I wouldn’t mind having a coffee with.
It’s important for us to realise our parents don’t have all the answers, and they get things wrong sometimes as well.
Themes of grief, mental illness, and self respect are wonderfully prevalent throughout.
“Claire? It’s Rachel. I’m afraid I have some bad news.”
A paper-doll chain with one doll torn and patched with sticky-tape. It suits the nostalgic aspect of this novel and the idea of a family that has forgotten how to function.
The novel is from the perspective of Delilah Hannaford. Other major characters are her mother, her aunt Rachel, and Patrick, the guy she was friends with as kids but hasn’t seen for years. While Delilah’s grandmother, grandfather and other aunt, Stephanie, are all dead, they almost seem like characters in their own right.
Delilah. She had her flaws, but her voice is really strong in the writing.
Patrick. He wasn’t terrible, but I didn’t feel like he added anything to the story. Every time he was in it, I wanted to go back and figure out what was happening with Delilah, her mum and her aunt. He was also a little too unforgiving. When Delilah had just found out that the person she most trusted had been lying to her her whole life, it’s no wonder that she doubted him.
Delilah has been getting in trouble a lot lately; getting caught shop-lifting, sneaking out with a boy – and her grades are dropping. When her mother gets a call saying that her grandmother has died, the last remaining Hannaford women head for Vermont to tie up loose ends.
Leaving the past behind is more difficult than it would seem, as the Hannafords soon find. Delilah’s determined to uncover the reason for the rift that split the family eight years before. Her mother is equally determined to keep those secrets buried.
The ending here is satisfying and sweet without being cheesy.
I really liked this one, which is odd because it’s not a genre I’d choose. It’s well written and the characters are easy to understand though they have complex emotions.
“…if things were different between us, more like they used to be, I’d want to go…because nothing would be as important as helping my mother and aunt through this tragedy and tying up its many loose ends – the three remaining Hannaford women united and strong as an unsinkable ship.
But things aren’t different. She’s her and I’m me and surrounding us is an ocean of mess and misunderstanding…”
I think the cover with the cut out paper dolls is cute. It represents there is a crack in the chain and represents the story well with Delilah stuck in the middle.
The story focuses on Delilah, her relationship with her mother and love interest Paul.
I would have to tie my favorites with Paul and Delilah’s aunt Rachel. They both seemed to bring the most stability to this rocky situation they find themselves in.
I can’t say that any of the characters were the least favourite.
After her grandmother’s death. Delilah, her mother and aunt all stay for the summer getting the house ready for sale. A friend from a long time ago comes to give Delilah some help and company.
While preparing her deceased grandmother’s house for sale, Delilah and her family have to face their past head-on and confront what has come between them, one secret at a time.
I guess a part of me was really hoping for a big dramatic ending with Delilah and Paul running off into the sunset and the happily ever after. But we get a very down to earth and heart warming story of this family, finally learning how to communicate and opening new doors to their futures.
I don’t read realistic contemporary very often. But joining the book club was exactly for reasons like this book. Opening my eyes to something outside my usual style. This book especially spoke to me because it focused on a dysfunctional family and how they learn to communicate better with each other. Every single character in this story grew, learned from each other and in became closer to each other by doing so.
“It‘s complicated. I think when bad things happen—whether someone dies or people argue or split up—you get to a point where it‘s just too hard to go back. There‘s so much lost. So many versions of the truth. So many versions of how things might‘ve turned out differently. We all long for what could have been. For some people, it‘s just easier to move forward and try to forget.”
“Doesn’t matter how many people are in the crowd anymore, Delilah. Ten or ten thousand, I’m still only singing for one.”
Mental illness is a key theme in Fixing Delilah. While it’s good to see these issues in literature, was Ockler’s handling of it astute – or kind – considering the fates of the two characters who suffered from this affliction?
Do you think that honesty is the best policy?