The Lucky Place by Zu Vincent documents a young girl's life as she grapples with the hardships of divorce, divided loyalties, a curse, and a devastating illness. Written in short, simple sentences, young Cassie's six-year-old perspective is experienced in full. The beautiful similes and metaphors remind one of what it is like to be a young child with an optimistic view on everything. Vincent's style depicts the protagonist in an imaginative, informative, and intriguing way.
In the first chapter, Sikes, Cassie's father, after a few too many beers, forgets her at the races. This neglectful act on her father's behalf sends her family into a civil war. For Cassie's mother this is the last straw and she leaves Sikes. With her mother's boyfriend, Ellis, the family moves to what Cassie refers to as "The Lucky Place." However, lucky as their new home may be, problems still exist. Jamie despises Ellis and refuses to call him "Dad." Cassie struggles to honor the promise Sikes extracted from her, to love him more than Ellis. She has already embraced Ellis as her father because he has treated her more like a daughter than Sikes ever did.
For a while everything seems to be going well for Cassie's family, until they discover that Ellis has a terrible illness. He tries to keep the family calm and happy, but the treatment isn't working and the family fears the worst.
As the novel progresses we witness Cassie grow as her sentences become longer and convey deeper thoughts. The Lucky Place is an outstanding read for anyone who wants a young child's inside view on divorce and illness. With her optimistic protagonist, Zu Vincent charms the reader and shows us that there is a lighter side to every dark tale.
© 2008 Catia Cunha
Catia Cunha is a sophomore in high school.