For next month, our pick is Up From the Blue: A Novel by Susan Henderson. The debut novel tells the story of Tillie, who confronts her past and comes to terms with her family background as she experiences the birth of her own daughter. We'll be meeting in July to discuss this selection.
When Tillie goes into labor while her husband is overseas, she must turn to her estranged father for help. Seeing him brings up painful memories. Her childhood was defined by the conflict between her flighty, moody mother and taciturn, controlling father. Henderson shifts to the past and has young Tillie tell the story of how her father’s military position forces the family to move, after which her mother sinks into a deep depression and withdraws from her family’s life completely. Tillie cannot process why or how her mother has disappeared, so she places the blame on her father. Now, with the birth of her own daughter, adult Tillie must come to terms with how her father chose to protect her. Henderson shows remarkable compassion in her debut novel, an affecting portrait of depression through a child’s eyes. --Aleksandra Walker