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Girl in Reverse: 11/27/22
Girl in Reverse by Barbara Stuber (2014) is a historic novel set in Kansas City, Missouri during the Korean War. Lily has brief memories of being with her mother in San Francisco's Chinatown, and then memories of the orphanage before she was later adopted by the Firestones. Now she's living with her adoptive parents and her brother, a child they had after she was adopted.
The Korean War, though, has brought out the worst in her white classmates and teachers. The decision to walk out after a particularly bad current events presentation puts her on a path to learn the truth of her heritage and the identity of the woman she's now calling "Gone Mom."
The novel is written with the same first lyricism that I so enjoyed in Stuber's other novel, Crossing the Tracks (2010). Every word counts towards the unfolding of Lily's history — the truth of her life.
I especially like that Lily despite her desire to learn the identity of her parents, doesn't want to leave her adoptive family. Lily and Ralph have a tight bond and although she's sometimes jealous of what he can get away with, he clearly loves and respects her.
Like Stuber's first novel, this one also sits on the Road Narrative Spectrum. Lily is a literal orphan (FF). Her desire is to learn about her past, thus her destination is uhoria (CC). Her route there is the Blue Highway (33) as represented by the buses and routes she walks between her destinations. Summarized, Lily's tale is of an orphan going to uhoria via the Blue Highway (FFCC33).