Goodreads ~ Thirteen-year-old Rachel is bad news, or so her foster care worker tells her. She's been shuttled from one rotten foster family to another ever since her mother and brother died in a car accident five years ago, and she's running out of options. So when she gets caught shoplifting and is kicked out of her latest home, the only place left to send her is the last resort for kids like her; a farm in the middle of nowhere run by a disfigured recluse named Amelia Walton, whom Rachel names 'Warty' because of the strange lumps covering her face and neck.
Rachel settles into life on the farm, losing herself in daily chores and Amelia's endless trivia and trying to forget her past and the secret she's holding inside. But when a letter arrives for her out of the blue, Rachel soon realizes that you can't hide from your past - or your future.
Five years ago Rachel's mother and younger brother were killed in a car accident. With no other family except for her maternal grandmother who didn't want her, Rachel, then eight, was put into the foster care system. She was bounced from one foster family to another because of behavioral issues. When she is caught shoplifting, that's it ... she's sent to Amelia's farm in rural New Brunswick, considered the last resort.
Rachel isn't used to the respect and support that being with Amelia provides to her and the other three foster children living there so she's initially suspicious and keeps her guard up. Stopping in on a regular basis and helping out are Zac and Jodie, former foster children of Amelia's. Just when Rachel has settled in and is comfortable living on the farm, she receives a letter out of the blue from a family member she didn't know she had and didn't think cared about her.
This is the first book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it ... I liked the story and writing style. It was a nice feel-good book. Though I think the target audience is young adults, I didn't find the writing juvenile. It is written in third person perspective in various voices including Rachel's and Amelia's. I found the characters likable, even Rachel when she wasn't at her best behavior.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
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