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Review of "Lock and Key" by Sarah Dessen

Lock and Key image
Lock and Key
by Sarah Dessen

Penguin Audio
Audio CD
$39.95 Suggested Retail Price

Several years after she was abandoned by her mother, poor Ruby Cooper is forced by social workers to move in with her sister Cora and her husband Jamie who live in a posh section of town. Their world is completely foreign to Ruby whose life had been a struggle of evading landlords and creditors with her mother and finally, striving to survive on her own. Her new life with her sister brings many emotional issues to the forefront. Cora left home over 10 years ago, so their relationship is sketchy, and Jamie tries his best to help her cope with it all.

The new school she has to attend brings the culture clash into stark contrast. She starts carpooling with Nate, a boy who lives next door. Ruby is wary of Nate's friendship, even though he's being nothing but a good friend. Ruby's life with her mother has led her to avoid being dependent on anyone except herself, so she shuns any close relationships however well-intentioned. She constantly looks for a way to leave Cora's house and be on her own, though she's well aware of just how difficult that will be. Nate's had some bad experiences, too, and so he undrstands Ruby very well.

"Lock and Key" is a poignant story of a young woman whose chances for happiness have been stomped on at every turn until she moves in with Cora. She's been hurt by so many people that she trusts no one and hides her feelings with a fascade of rebellion and anger. The fish out of water aspect of her change in lifestyle with Cora and Jamie are secondary to the central theme of this girl's realization of how everyone needs to love and be loved. Ably read by Rebecca Soler.

Rainbo Electronic Reviews published this review in our July, 2008 issue.

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