The Book of Fred by Abby Bardi

The Book of FredThis story is written from four separate voices. Naive Mary Fred Anderson has been separated from her parents and siblings and placed in a foster home due to the death of two of her brothers: they did not receive medical care because of her parents’ allegiance to a cult leader, Fred Brown. Alice is the tender-hearted single mom who invites Mary Fred in to her home, where she is also supporting a pop culture-consuming teenage daughter about Mary’s age and Alice’s brother Roy, a down-and-out unemployed and cynical dude. All of these characters speak in whole sections devoted to their points of view. Strange as it may seem, this family seems quite typical to me, and their story shows them opening to the new, the strange, and the different in a daily effort to make it through life.

Reviewed by Laura R.

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