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by Heather Henson
HarperTempest, 2002
Review by Catherine Atkins on Jun 18th 2002

Making the Run

Vivid sensory details and a sure hand with character mark Heather Henson's debut novel Making the Run.  As a child, Henson's narrator Lu McClellan lost her mother and any sense of lightness in her life.  Lu's father stepped away, and as she grew she matched his distance with a retreat into her photography and her drugs.  At seventeen, Lu counts the days to graduation and the time she can leave her small town of Rainey, Kentucky.  A romance with an older man and a friend's tragedy break Lu's detachment to the point where she may be able to reconnect with her past, and her father.

Lu is a fascinating, contradictory character.  An unapologetic stoner, the teen also manages to attend school, hold a demanding waitress job, and offer daily help to her elderly grandmother.  The supporting characters, from Jay, the older man, to Ginny, Lu's wild friend, are well developed and believable.  Only Lu's relationship with her brother seems sketched in.

Aside from some repetitive moments in the middle chapters, Making the Run is a hypnotic read, time well spent with a girl worth knowing.

 

© 2002 Catherine Atkins

 

Catherine Atkins is a writer and teacher from Northern California.