The Number 7 by Jessica Lidh

The Number 7 - Jessica Lidh

There was so much happening in this book; I wished the author would have left a few of them out. It seemed so crowded, all of them competing for space, too many issues trying to grab the limelight, it just seemed to be too much. Lou, Greta and their father move to Pennsylvania, their father’s childhood home after their grandmother passes away. The children don’t know anything about their grandparents and we later find out that their father doesn’t really know much about his own parents either. The girl’s mother died a few years earlier from cancer and Lou carries around a stapled list of memories. These worn, yellowed sheets are everything she remembers about her mother, all 522 memories. This wonderful tribute to her mother, Lou has memorized. Greta is not keen about moving mid-senior year and her actions later show that. The family as a whole must also deal with some emotional issues as they adjust to where they are in life, as so much is happening and so quickly. As Lou cleans out grandma’s attic, she happens upon an old rotary phone. With no electrical plug and no dial tone, this nonworking phone makes more than the tick, tick, tick as it falls back into alignment when she winds her finger around the dial, Lou hears breathing.   The stories that are transmitted over this ancient piece of equipment mesmerize and quickly draw Lou into the lives of her namesake. It was these stories that I wanted to hear more about, these pieces of the past that where hidden and were finally being revealed that captivated me. As Lou was listening to the stories, trying to figuring out their meaning and importance, I was right beside her spellbound. These were a great mystery to add to the drama being played out. This was my favorite part of the novel. Lou also has a long triangle going on with Chris and Gabe. Both of these boys are unique in their own way and if I was Lou, I’d have to flip a coin as they each brought out something in her. She has a lot in common with Chris and he shows a unique side of himself, a tender side. Gabe on the other hand makes her feel exceptional and there is this liveliness about him. Her father is also experiencing love for the first time since his wife died. Things are changing for this household, a new chapter is being written, and hopefully it is a time for growth.