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Book cover of A Room on Lorelei Street

A Room on Lorelei Street

by Mary E. Pearson, Natalie Ross

Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Compact Disc
ISBN: 9781441805232

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Synopsis of A Room on Lorelei Street

Can seventeen-year-old Zoe make it on her own?


To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, July 2005: In a small town in Texas, Zoe, a nearly lost 17-year-old daughter of an alcoholic, is trying to find her own way. All her life, she has covered for her mother, cared for her little brother, and listened to her opinionated grandmother; now, she feels her only hope of survival is to escape, to get away. Her little brother is safe with an uncle and his wife, her father has been dead for several years, her mother is not getting any better—so Zoe finds a room in the home of a wonderful elderly woman. She has to save every penny she earns as a waitress at a local diner and still it never is enough for rent, for food. She is on the tennis team and she has some good friends, but it seems before she can become her own person, fall in love, get along in school, someone has to nurture her. Opal, her landlady, is one of the few adults in her life who enjoys her company and supports her emotionally. This is a raw story. Zoe's mother is a piece of work, completely selfish and irresponsible. She brings strange men into their home unexpectedly for sex. Zoe has to clean up her mother's vomit and try to keep her alive. The story begins when Zoe gets into trouble the first day of school, when a teacher is disrespectful and Zoe curses at her. Something snaps, and the fury Zoe feels in general erupts. Some counseling is offered at school, but Zoe is too wary to reveal the truth of her life to strangers. The pressures build and we worry about Zoe's survival until the last pages of this poignant novel. Zoe is no virgin, and her inability to be comfortable with herself is reflected in her failed sex life. Even when she gets away from her mother,the guilt and responsibility nearly crush her. The author makes us all understand how crippling it is to be the child of an alcoholic. The room on Lorelei Street represents hope in the possibility there can be something good for Zoe in her future. (An ALA Best Book for YAs.) Reviewer: Claire Rosser

About the Author, Mary E. Pearson

Mary E. Pearson’s books to date are The Adoration of Jenna Fox, The Miles Between, and Scribbler of Dreams. She writes full time from her home in San Diego.

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