The Book of Polly is an adult novel that centers around Willow Havens, a ten year-old girl, who is obsessed with the idea of her mother’s death. Polly was quite old when Willow was born, so it’s logical that Willow would be concerned. This book is very much about character development. Polly is quite a character – she kills squirrels in her backyard and has confrontations with her neighbors and people at Willow’s school.
Willow is trying to discover who she is and find assurance that someone will care for her once her mother is gone. I enjoyed this sweet, quirky story, but it wasn’t very memorable. It’s full of crazy anecdotes and some overall plot, but mostly it’s about Willow and Polly and their unusual relationship and lifestyle.
Rating: 3 Stars
The Book of Polly
Pamela Dorman Books
March 14, 2017
Willow Havens is ten years old and obsessed with the fear that her mother will die. Her mother, Polly, is a cantankerous, take-no-prisoners Southern woman who lives to shoot varmints, drink margaritas, and antagonize the neighbors and she sticks out like a sore thumb among the young modern mothers of their small conventional Texas town. She was in her late fifties when Willow was born, so Willow knows she's here by accident, a late-life afterthought. Willow's father died before she was born, her much older brother and sister are long grown and gone and failing elsewhere. It's just her and bigger-than-life Polly.
Willow is desperately hungry for clues to the family life that preceded her, and especially Polly's life pre-Willow. Why did she leave her hometown of Bethel, Louisiana, fifty years ago and vow never to return? Who is Garland Jones, her long-ago suitor who possibly killed a man? And will Polly be able to outrun the Bear, the illness that finally puts her on a collision course with her past?