The Madolescents (Anglais) Broché – 7 mars 2002
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The gist of it is this: Rowena, the 16-year-old narrator and main character, is forever getting into trouble, and forever lying her way out of it. After what her mother thinks is a failed suicide attempt, she's signed up for therapy, and ends up attending a weekly group meeting of other teens with mental health issues-- the Madolescents. Their friendship is part of the story.
The other part is Rowena's family life. Her father abandoned her and mum, and now there's a new man on the scene, Bernard; or Filthy Luker (sic), as Rowena calls him. She wants nothing more than to have him out of her mum's life, and plots ways of realizing her goal. Creative, funny ways.
Not to mention Rowena's work life. She works at a funeral parlor-- when she actually does go to work-- bathing and making-up corpses, as well as performing various odd jobs around the office. So there it is.
You won't find character growth or life lessons in this novel, nor the "standard" anything. The obligatory happy ending isn't obligatory here; neither is there the obligatory sad one. See what I mean? Cliches avoided. Good job.
ETA: Just found out the author of the book (sadly passed away) was in her 50s when it came out. I was so sure the author had come of age at the same time her main character did, as the voice of the book is spot-on in capturing 90s youth. Not even that, though; the energy of the book is authentically young in a way that I'd imagine would be hard to connect with and reduplicate in late middle-age. Makes it all the more impressive, knowing that.