Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti

Indigo pretty much has it all, a loving family and a great boyfriend. There isn’t a lot of money, but there is warmth, devotion, humor, and good times. She’s even got a job she loves.

“See, I loved being a waitress more than anything, but apparently, it’s ok to work as a waitress but not to be a waitress. To most people, saying you want to be a waitress is like saying your dream is to be a Walgreens clerk.”

And that is part of why the book is so good. Indigo is an insightful character. She’s descriptive, she’s got a clear point of view, and she’s different than your average protagonist. I related to her right off the bat, maybe more than most because of my years spent waitressing. She got it so right – you can tell a lot about people from what they order and how they order it. You do develop relationships with regulars and it can keep you (ok me) in a job for way too long just because you enjoy the people you work with and it feels cozy.

Indigo is a character that is uber aware of class divisions, how money separates people not only because of having more or less things, but also because of the way it makes people act – towards each other and towards their possessions. She's also got a clear sense of self and what is important in life. So when she receives a 2.5 million dollar gift from a man she waits on, you think she’ll handle it well and make level headed decisions. Right? Well, not so exactly, which is actually a good thing, because if she had we’d have no story. Or at least not a terribly interesting one.

The story is told in retrospect, which definitely has its advantages. Indigo is able to slip in thoughtful commentary since she has the advantages of knowing how the story ends and can reflect more truthfully on how she handled, or mishandled certain situations. It’s interesting to see how all the characters react to the windfall, how relationships stretch, break, and are reformed.

My only complaint is that it felt like they squished as much text on a page as possible. It was sort of like someone set a page cap on the book and to fit in everything they mussed around with the margins and line spacing. And because the book is so descriptive, the book just felt incredibly dense. I would have preferred more white space and a book with a few more pages myself.

Other reviews: YA Book Central, Read, Read, Read

1 comment:

CLM said...

However, squeezing the text may have enabled the publisher to keep the price down. It is a constant battle with sales and editorial to balance the lower price with enough of a revenue projection to get the book out at all.

I enjoyed one of this author's earlier books and will look forward to reading this one.