E-galley received from Netgalley for review.
It's 1985, and Apron Branhall is thriteen years old. Her mother recently passed away; her stepmother, a Brazilian immigrant who hates her, is pregnant; and her former best friend now hangs out with another girl. At her father's wedding, Apron meets Mike and Chad, a young gay couple who runs a flower shop. She immediately connects with Mike after seeing him perform as Jesus in "Jesus Christ Superstar". When Apron is offered a summer job at the flower shop, she jumps at the chance to be out of the house. But then she learns that Chad is very ill.
This book made a good job taking me back to the Eighties, when people didn't carry cell phones, there was no Internet, and AIDS was still a disease limited to "certain men". Apron is the daughter of a Latin teacher; her mum died of cancer, and her mum's former nurse is about to become her new stepmother. Apron got her unusual name because her mother wanted to name her April, while her father disagreed; so she wrote the name on Apron's birth certificate so unintellegibly that the authorities decided it was Apron.
I loved April's relationship to Mike and Chad. How she realizes, at some point, that her job for the summer was not only to help with the flower shop, but mainly to help take care of Chad. I also loved the Latin quotes she wrote on cards for all occasions!
Apron is a smart girl, and seems more mature than her age most of the time. Which is natural, considering she had to go through things that many kids her age don't experience until later in life.
This is a bittersweet book that made my heart ache. I have yet to read a single bad review for this one. I'd certainly recommend it.Cover attraction:
I love the blue colour. It's such a dreamy cover. Nice job.