The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair, by Amy Makechnie, is now one of my favorite books. It’s beautiful. And my cousin wrote it, which makes me famous by association.
Guinevere St. Clair and her sister Bitty have been moved to their parents’ hometown of Crow, Iowa. It’s an attempt to get their mother, Vienna, to get her memories back.
When Guinevere was four years old, her mother’s heart stopped beating. After precious minutes were lost, she came miraculously back to life, but without any of her memories since the age of thirteen. So now Guinevere is helping her father take care of Vienna (who she does not call Mom, since she doesn’t act like one.) Vienna doesn’t remember her children, and usually acts like a child herself.
Also, now that they’re in Iowa, Guinevere has made fast friends with the neighbors, discovered her arch-enemy, and is working on a missing-persons case in her spare time (behind her father’s back, since he keeps telling her to stop poking her nose in other people’s business.)
This is a well-written story that will plant you straight into the Midwest, manure and all. It’s brilliantly written, and offers a realistic, yet still optimistic, look at grief and life’s sometimes horrible surprises. It offers character everywhere it offers pain.
And, as an added bonus for me, there’s little family-story cameos scattered in a couple places. But if you didn’t grow up around Copes, you probably won’t catch those. Which means they’re aptly woven into the text.
I know the author, so I have a bias. I’ll admit that. But as objectively as I can say this, I think this should win the Newbery. And everyone should read it. ♥