This one is so incredibly well reviewed that I’m going to skip my summary and get right into my thoughts about this book. Poor Raymond is in a sketchy situation with a step-father who doesn’t care if he’s around or not and a mother who has checked out on parenting. In fact, I couldn’t stand his mother. She didn’t want to parent unless it suited her (by telling Raymond who he should befriend, by ordering him out of the jeans he was wearing so she could wash them, by consistently trying to push him into a relationship when she has no vested interest in him as a person.) So when he meets Mildred, it’s no wonder he finally feels heard and seen.
Mildred is fantastic. She’s the woman we all hope people will be in life. She’s incredibly accepting of anyone, regardless of their background, their race, their beliefs. She sees more as a blind woman than most seeing people are able. She had a way of explaining things to Raymond that he would understand, that made sense to anyone reading the text. I think being able to relate to people of any age is a special gift.
I’m not sure where Raymond got his incredible manners, but they shined through in his respect for others, by calling them, ma’am or sir. When Mildred first made him tea, we read: “Raymond didn’t like tea, but he had every intention of drinking a cup of it. And keeping his feelings about it to himself.” He simply is an amazing young man.
While this isn’t marked as a YA book, it definitely had that kind of feel, (and I found it because I was looking in the YA category and it was recommended as “also boughts”). I found myself highlighting so many portions of the text because it resonated with me, because it was something I would want to emulate, or because I just adored it. This is so well-written, the topics are relative in today’s society (and I had to laugh at the review that was mad at the liberal vs conservative topics in the book), the characters are fantastic, the storyline is engaging and heartfelt, and I am definitely a new fan.