The smell of asphalt and dandelions and the last days of school made the air tingle with summer promise. . .
I love the first line of The Truth About Delilah Blue. There’s something about the first line of this story that promises so much and it was great to find out that the book delivers. Delilah Blue is a twenty-year old transplant from Toronto living in L.A. with her dad after being abandoned by her mother. Her dream is to become an artist so she attends art class for free by modeling nude for art schools, learning as she poses. When her mom unexpectedly arrives along with a younger, unknown daughter, she reveals that she didn’t abandon Delilah but that Delilah was kidnapped from her by her father and kept hidden for the past twelve years. Now it’s up to Delilah to figure out who to believe and find out the real story behind the sudden move to L.A. so many years before.
I started reading this book early this morning during a bout of insomnia and within a few hours and despite the book’s length, finished it satisfied and left wondering about the book’s characters. Delilah is a girl lost. Years of living with an emotionally detached dad hasn’t help. She’s sure about her father’s love and devotion and her own passion for art but other than that, the future’s pretty murky. Her loneliness is almost heartbreaking. The author conveys the sense that the main character has almost a bewilderment about emotionally connecting to other people. With the unexpected arrival of her mother and younger sister Kieran, that starts to change.
I love seeing the way Delilah handles her parents. Her father, Victor, has memory lapses and is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s so readers see how his illness is handle while Delilah tries learning the truth about what happened. Her mother, Elizabeth, is a carefree parent with almost no regard for danger when it comes to both of her daughters. Essentially Elizabeth is a child who dreams of being rich if she can just find a decent man with the right amount of money. Both parents have their faults and because the author gives readers the story of this family through the eyes of Delilah and Victor, we come to know the true reasons behind Delilah’s abduction. Cohen brilliantly asks the question: how much is any parent willing to do to keep a child safe?