Fixing Delilah

Fixing Delilah

by Sarah Ockler


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Things in Delilah Hannaford's life have a tendency to fall apart. She used to be a good student, but she can't seem to keep it together anymore. Her "boyfriend" isn't much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.

Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family's painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced back together again?

Sarah Ockler delivers a powerful story, rich with emotion and filled with family, love, and self-discovery.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

* "Delilah [is] one of the more realistic adolescent girls in contemporary fiction. She tells her own story in a lyrical and authentic voice."—VOYA, starred review

"[A] perfect fit for those seeking expressive writing, emotional depth, and lush, cinematic romance."—Booklist

Publishers Weekly

Delilah Hannaford's grandmother was estranged from her daughters for eight years, but when she dies, 16-year-old Delilah, her workaholic mother, and her tarot-reading aunt spend the summer at the family lake house, tying up loose ends with her estate--and within their family. Well-written and ambitious, Ockler's (Twenty Boy Summer) book is a bit overstuffed with secrets: what exactly happened eight years ago? why doesn't anyone talk about her mother's youngest sister, who died as a teenager? Delilah even learns that her father is not who she thought he was. Readers may have a hard time knowing where to focus, especially when a romance with a long-lost childhood friend is mixed in, plus Delilah's strained relationship with her mother and the discovery of her dead aunt's secret diary. Even so, Delilah's gradual acceptance of her family's complicated history feels authentic, as does her growing ability to recognize her own flawed coping mechanisms. Readers will appreciate her honest assessment that while the Hannaford women cannot fix all past hurts, "some of them can be repaired, piece by piece, rebuilt into something even more cherished and loved and unique." Ages 12–up. (Dec.)


Praise for Twenty Boy Summer
"This is smoothly written and romantic as all get out....ideal for readers looking for romance salted with a bit of tears as well as a bit of sea air."


Praise for Twenty Boy Summer
"Anna's authentic voice and some lyrical writing will satisfy fans of Sarah Dessen, while the mix of romance, drama, and tragedy will be a draw for teen readers of Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult."

School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up—When Del's grandmother's dies, the teen and her mother, Claire, immediately head to Red Falls, VT. The house is a Victorian relic where her mother and aunt grew up and it holds fond memories for Del, particularly of Rickie, the boy who was once her inseparable companion. An unexplained fight between her mother and her grandmother ended any contact. Claire is a secretive sort who has a demanding job and seems to pay attention only when Del gets in trouble, and Del has obliged. The summer is spent working on clearing the house and repairing it to get it ready to sell, with the aid of Rickie, now known as Patrick, and his father, who run a construction business. Romance ensues, along with uncovering clues about the family mystery regarding an aunt who died at age 19. Although the plot is sometimes melodramatic, romance lovers will enjoy the tender love scenes, while more practical folk may tire of Del's vacillations and whining. The ending seems telegraphed, and nothing is new, except a friend who declares herself a lesbian. The story will satisfy readers who crave romance that focuses on the moments spent kissing and touching rather than on the sex.—Carol A. Edwards, Denver Public Library, CO

Kirkus Reviews

Delilah's life has been falling apart for some time. She's losing friends, shoplifting, skipping school and spending far too much time with her non-boyfriend, Finn. A phone call announcing the death of her estranged grandmother changes everything. Arriving in Vermont, both Delilah and her mother are unprepared for the memories they find. Delilah, desperate to understand the rift in her family, tries to uncover the long-buried secrets that led to it, while Patrick, an old friend, helps guide her toward the answers as well as acceptance of her family and her past. The writing is beautiful in places, bordering on lyrical. Unfortunately, while the mystery surrounding the family's history holds promise, it also loses its legs. Delilah is at times endearing, but she isn't enough to carry the too-familiar plot. The emotionally unavailable mother, the flighty, hippie aunt and the too-good-to-be-true love interest are just a sample of the many stock characters that populate this story. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316052085
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 12/05/2011
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 901,553
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

Customer Reviews