As a children’s librarian, it’s uncommon that I recommend a book about a teenage runaway to parents looking for a book about relationship-building. But author Jennifer Mathieu has written an uncommon book. I just can’t recommend it highly enough. In this cautionary tale of what can go wrong when parents put too many restrictions on their teens, Rachel Walker is a seventeen-year-old girl who runs away from her strict, Quiverfull-adhering, fundamentalist Christian home in an effort to feed her curious mind and to build a life of her own. What I like most about this book is how complexly the author handles Rachel's faith in God. Turning away from her church doesn't mean that she's turning away from God. In fact, Rachel develops a deeper relationship with God once she gets out from under her father’s thumb.
Mathieu also wrote the amazing, realistic fiction book The Truth About Alice. She reminds me of great writers like Anne Tyler. She's someone who respects her readers' ability to revel in nuance and ambiguity. Highly recommended for parents of rebellious teens. 4 1/2 stars, rounded up to 5.