Saturday, March 18, 2006

Is She Having Sex?

Got your attention with that title, didn't I? I want to talk about a book I just read called Sandpiper by Ellen Wittlinger. Sandpiper is a teenager just finishing her sophomore year of high school. She has gotten a reputation at school for her willingness to go, well, almost all the way. Sandpiper feels like this is the only time that anyone pays attention to her, and some attention is what she wants most. Throughout the book, Sandpiper's family is totally involved with her hippie mother's second wedding. Her father, who is still close with the family, has lots of different girlfriends all of the time, and is too busy to spend much time with Sandpiper. She has lost her two best friends because of her reputation. And Sandpiper's life has suddenly become out of her control. One of the guys Sandpiper dated lately has gotten angry at how quickly she moved on to another guy and starts to threaten Sandpiper and her family.

But this story is really about how Sandpiper finds her real identity, hidden under all of her loneliness. She meets the Walker, a teenaged guy who doesn't have a home, and is hiding a secret from the world. As they walk around their town together, she begins to discover who she really is. This person - she begins to call herself Piper - is not someone who needs guys for the attention, she is someone in her own right. Part of the process of becoming herself means learning who she isn't, including trying to shed her reputation. It will not be easy, but Piper will come out of this alive. I think this book is a great book for anyone struggling with who they are and who they will be. Piper writes some great poetry during this book, and the whole book really makes you think about families and how you find your place in them.

No comments: