Review: Tomato Girl

Title: Tomato Girl
Author: Jayne Pupek
Date: July 29, 2008

I have to first say THANK YOU to Jayne for sending me this book to review for my blog. It was very generous of you to do that. I appreciate it.

Secondly, I have to say that this is a GREAT BOOK! I loved it.

For those of you who may not know Jayne’s book Tomato Girl. This was her debut novel. She takes us the reader into the mind and world of a young eleven-year-old girl named Ellie Sanders. Ellie is trying so hard to cling to her childhood while she is living and watching as the adult world crashes around her. She is forced to grow up faster then any child should have to. Tomato Girl is told in Ellie’s point of view.

We discover right away that Ellie’s mom is mentally ill and Ellie is forced to be a care giver to her. Reading the book you can see that Ellie has so much love for her mother even though she finds it hard living with the madness.

Ellie’s mother falls down some basement stairs early on in the book and is in the hospital. Her father brings in a young teen age girl nicked named the Tomato Girl. Tess, the tomato girl, brings fresh vegetables to Ellie’s fathers store. We find out that Ellies father, Rupert and Tess (the tomato girl) are lovers. Rupert brings in Tess to run the household. When Julia comes home things quickly begin to spiral out of control. Ellie is trying to please both her parents but finds it very hard.

Tess is also sick and with all the stress has epileptic seizures. We discover that when Tess was living with her father that he would take advantage of that time and do things to his daughter. She receives a letter from her father telling her he wants her home. Rupert gets furious and decides to handle the situation.

Before we know it Rupert and Tess are leaving and forcing Ellie to take care of her mother. While they are gone the father sends letters and money home to Ellie. Eventually the letters stop but he continues to send money. He never tells Ellie where he is because he is a minor and the law is looking for him.

I really had a hard time putting this book down. I actually managed to read it all in a day. Right from the very beginning you can’t help but fall in love with Ellie. My heart ached for her. Even after reading the book I wonder what has happened to Ellie. A young girl not being able to enjoy her childhood and being forced to grow up quickly.

Jayne is already working on her second novel and I can’t wait to read it when its done. This is a fantastic author and a fantastic book.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
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