For me, when an author tries to write from multiple perspectives, they better do it well. Delta Girls (Gayle Brandeis) does it extremely well by clearly labeling the perspectives and having very different voices. In general, it is also captivating to me if at first it is not clear how the characters relate. This book brilliantly tells both stories independently, and it doesn’t become abundantly clear until the last twenty pages how the two women connect.
One story is a woman named Izzy and her daughter Quinn who for some mysterious reason move continuously as migrant farmers. In fact, they haven’t had a home since the time that Quinn was born nine years ago. They’re a bit like the Gilmore Girls in that their always together, but Izzy is no care-free Lorelai Gilmore. Izzy carefully protects Quinn by keeping her always in sight, but things start to change when the mother and daughter find a job at a pear orchard where the owners treat them a bit more like family.
The other story is a seventeen-year old figure skater named Karen whose mother is her very demanding coach. She can’t remember a time when she’s slept past six a.m. and she’s never allowed to eat a big greasy cheeseburger. Her mother has her on a track to participate in the Olympics with Karen’s skating partner, Nathan.
I picked this book up because it had a little note on it at the library that said “save me!”, and I’m glad that I did. The writing alone made it worth the time, but the carefully woven metaphors and brilliant stories kept me yearning for more time. Because there are some very brief sexual moments, I would only recommend this book to adults, but it wasn’t the kind of book I felt dirty reading. Delta Girls will still stick with me because it’s the first book in a while to surprise me so much.