A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty
By Joshilyn Jackson
Grand Central Pub., 2012. 322 pgs. Fiction
Ginny was only 15 years old when she had her daughter Liza. When Liza turns 15 she also finds herself the teenage mother of a little girl. Now, Mosey approaches her own 15th birthday and is overwhelmed by her family’s and community’s expectation that she too will follow in Ginny and Liza’s footsteps. But before this expected trial actually occurs, real tragedy strikes when Liza suffers a debilitating stroke. Her mother and daughter manage to care for her despite the minimal response Liza is able to provide. Then one day, Ginny decides to tear down her daughter’s favorite backyard and Liza’s terrifying and uncontrollable response takes the family on an entirely unexpected quest for truths that have been hidden through the past 30 years.
‘A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty’ is both an intriguing mystery and a heartfelt family drama. Liza isn’t the most relatable character, even before the stroke, but both Ginny and Mosey provide protagonists you want read about. The narration jumps between perspectives as well as time periods as thoughts and motives are revealed, all leading to a satisfying and surprising conclusion.