Book Review: Wreath, A Girl

Wreath, A Girl is a story that rings true with the harsh reality of many teens’ lives these days. We have no idea how many people go to the extremes she did to live independently (viz., homeless and in poverty) under the radar of the System (which she assumed would have caused more problems than it would have solved). Having said that, anyone who is or knows or works with those who are homeless and living by their wits and trying to lay low will also appreciate this story on a personal level. For all of us, Wreath is a wonderfully developed character whose complexities are slowly revealed. Initially this seems to be a fairly straightforward profile of a teen girl caught up in the collateral damage of a single parent’s past poor choices. There’s also her own strong-willed, single-focused mindset to make sure that her future is not the mess her past has been–by not depending on others and thereby inadvertently getting entangled in their messes. However, it unfolds with various revelations as Wreath and others eventually realize we can’t function as fully human as we should without meaningful contact with community.

This book is a refreshing but sometimes difficult emotionally work that I believe will resonate with teens as well as adults. It throws light on themes that are relevant to all of us: loss, fear, trust issues, creativity, perseverance, hope, purpose, and ultimately the theme that encompasses all others, faith. In fact, after reading my Advance Reader Copy I was left with an intense desire to know what would happen next…so it was with great rejoicing that shortly after finishing the book I found out that Wreath’s story continues in a new novel coming out in 2015. As we Aggies say, “Whoop!”

Here are some of my favorite take away lines from the book.

Writing made her feel in control. She was not a hopeless girl…She was Wreath Willis, and if she took life a week at a time, she’d make it…

“Most people are happy to lend a hand,” Faye said quietly. “You have to let them.”

I was tickled pink–an expression of my East Texas upbringing–that Wreath named her journal and that things are not always as they appear. Everyone has a story at some point in their life yet we all assume that we’re the only ones wrestling with painful situations, whether we’re by ourselves or have a support system (perhaps one that we won’t acknowledge and/or let help us…God help us independent types!), and Wreath will change others’ lives in ways they could never imagine, just as we often do (with or without knowing it).

This book by Judy Christie, who has written many wonderful books both fiction and non-fiction, would make a great gift for a teen or any avid reader of realistic books that deal with contemporary issues in a unique way without making a big deal out of its Christian worldview but subtly using it to show us how God is always working behind the scenes, even for those who do not know Him yet. You can even sample the first chapter for free by going to the author’s website as you’ll see on the right side at the top of her page:

Wreath, A Girl is available at amazon:

You can also find it as well from your favorite indie bookseller or possibly your favorite brick and mortar store; don’t forget your local library if buying a copy isn’t in your budget right now. Better yet, if they don’t already own it, request they purchase it! 🙂

Finally, here’s some lagniappe (“a little something extra”) for those of you who have already read the book or aren’t afraid of mild spoilers. Judy has graciously provided a downloadable “Behind the Scenes with Wreath, A Girl: A Chat with Author Judy Christie” here:

Happy reading!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Judy Christie
    Dec 08, 2014 @ 14:37:36

    Thank you so much for this wonderful review — and for really “getting” what makes Wreath Willis tick! Judy Christie



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