Friday, July 10, 2009
Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts
Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts is a truly unforgettable tale of children that slip through the cracks in our society. I could actually see this happening to those children that come from broken homes and families of abusive parents. This is a very emotional tale and will certainly touch you.
Lutie Mcfee is a fifteen year old girl that has to grow up way to fast. Having lost her mum some years past and her drunken father abandoning her and her brother leaving them with one of his old girl friends does not make for a comfortable life. Lutie is a gifted child with gymnastics but ends up not being able to continue on due to unfairness in the school system. This turns her bitter and who could rightly blame her. Her chance at the Olympics has flown right out the window because of this and I think that would make even the best of us down right depressed.
The story starts us at a Walmart store and the woman that is taking care of Lutie and her brother drops dead of a heart attack. Lutie and her brother end up fleeing their home in search of a father that is supposedly in Las Vegas with a job only to find out upon getting their that their father went to jail and ended up dying.
We soon find out how rough life can be for two children who have set out on their own to avoid an even worse fate of being cast into the welfare system and placed into homes that most likely won't care for them anyway.
Life is indeed tough for young Lutie as she tries her best to take care of her and her younger brother and the story is quite graphic in it's treatment of this child and the dangers that are ever so present out there in the real world when not protected by adults.
This is a sad story but with a happy ending but not all stories are like this in reality. The author has touched upon many subjects here including child predators, gangs, child pornography, drug abuse, good Samaritans, love, caring and so much more. I will not say this is a delightful story because it doesn't start out that way but it is a very well written one. Our author has taken care to do much homework on the subjects presented to give us a story that will touch us right down to our souls. Next time you see a child on the street corner you will wonder if this child is in need of help and it will make you search your soul asking yourself what you could possibly do to change just one life if you had the chance.
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (May 4, 2009)