Monday, October 7, 2019

The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair (MMGM review)

The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair
Author: Amy Makechnie
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (hardcover June 12, 2018, paperback June 4, 2019)

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, and I have a fascinating book to recommend. Amy Makechnie's debut middle grade is difficult to categorize. Part mystery, part slice-of-life, part family dynamics, it follows the story of the eponymous Guinevere St. Clair, also known as Gwyn, as she moves from New York City to her parents' hometown of Crow, Iowa with her little sister, Bitty, and her father and mother to try to help her mother, referred to as Vienna, regain memories lost when Gwyn was four years old.

Vienna doesn't remember her daughters, or anything else that happened after she was thirteen. While this might sound like an "issue" book, and it certainly deals with a serious issue of brain injury and the impact on a family, the characters are so rich and the story so compelling, you don't feel like it is an issue book. (Not that I mind such books, but some find them too heavy.)

And oh my, those characters. Gwyn is feisty and difficult and headstrong, but also a passionate defender of her quirky friend, Micah (who I adored), and his constant companion and best friend, Jimmy. Micah's mother, Gaysie Cutter, is scary and unpredictable, but Gwyn's father firmly believes in her. When Gaysie's one friend, an older man named Wilbur, disappears, Gwyn feels compelled to solve the mystery of where he has gone or what has happened to him, and her number one suspect is Gaysie.

Hang on for the ride as Gwyn tries to find evidence and understand the complex world of adults in this close-knit but relatable rural town.

I heartily recommend this, and think you will find, as the title suggests, both the book and the characters quite unforgettable.

Order The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair on Amazon US, or find where you can order it from a local indie bookstore.

Find the rest of the Marvelous Middle Grade Monday reviews for October 7, 2019