Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Girl She Used To Be

Title:  The Girl She Used to Be
Author:  David Cristofano
Publication Information: Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Book Group. 2009. 241 pages.

Book Source:  I read this book based on the recommendation of a friend who also happens to be a librarian. The book came as a hardcover edition from the library.

Favorite Quote:  "I am tired of living, but what keeps me from dragging a blade across my wrist or diving off one of the crippled bridges that cross the polluted rivers my motel rooms predictably border is the idea of life - that somehow, someday, I will figure a way to experience what it is like to live in unfettered happiness, to bask in the freedom of security, and finally to understand the person I am supposed to be."

Melody Grace McCartney has many different names - Michelle, May, Karen, Ann and so many more. She has been part of the Federal Witness Protection Program for over 20 years. She and her family witnessed a horrible crime when Melody was six. Since that time, Melody has had so many different identities - so many except for the one she really wants - her own.

As the book begins, Melody is about to be relocated yet again. This time, it is because she has become bored with the life she has and manufactures a situation that precipitates the relocation. This is not the first time she has tried this as she longs for her true identity and a place where she feels she belongs.

In the midst of this, she meets a man who calls her by her real name. Jonathon Bovaro is part of the crime family from which Melody has been hiding all her life. Yet, the chance to be Melody McCartney proves irresistible.

This story too proves irresistible. I want to reach in and protect the child Melody used to be and to return to her the safety and security she craves. Even though I have a hard time understanding her attraction to a man whose family is responsible for her losses and her sorrow, it does not prevent me from feeling for her and with her.

David Cristofano has also written the same story from Jonathon Bovaro's perspective because as he says to Melody, "In fact, we are identical except for one thing:  You would give anything to be who you were meant to be, and I would give anything to be anyone but who I was meant to be." That book is titled The Exceptions, and I can't wait to read it!

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