Quinn Heart, for example, worries about what she has inherited.
We find out that Quinn is a sixteen year old girl who struggles everyday with the knowledge of her mother’s mental issues, problems that eventually lead to her mom committing suicide. This topic lingers between her and her father, and is reflected in the state of their house, finances, and level of communication. To complicate matters, Quinn is continuously worried those same conditions will plague her.
School is no prize either. Old friends treat her very shabbily, and at one point in the story go out of their way to torment her. To balance this out, new people enter Quinn’s life who are much more supportive, even if she never reveals the whole truth to them. Art class becomes a haven, with painting being Quinn’s release. And along the way, she meets Sam, a very understanding young man, who slowly works his way into Quinn’s heart.
Quinn tries to lead a normal life, even if she is not entirely sure what that is. Between conversations with her father, forced appointments with a counselor, and taking medication she desperately hides from her friends, she grapples with a heritage she is so scared of.
And this aspect of You Are My Only Sunshine is one of the most interesting to read and experience. The author yourlilRIOT7 showcases the troubles and fears mental issues cause every day. A wonderful day can happen, and the next morning Quinn will immediately feel despair. This rollercoaster of emotions can be jarring to the reader, even ones who understand the issues involved, but brings a level of realism to the story. Partway through, I wondered if this story was somewhat autobiographical.
With all the calamities, both real and unreal to Quinn, happening all through the book, the arrival of the cousin at about the mid-point is a major game changer and pivots the story towards the conclusion. At this juncture, the surprises of where Quinn goes and how she gets their causes worry.
You hope and pray the best, all because you really root for Quinn. Problems pile on and she tries to keep above water, all because she does not want to be totally like her mother.
Quinn Heart wants to be herself.
…is currently reading In Other Worlds by Margaret Atwood.