Their mama left them a while ago and their daddy leaves them for long stretches at a time. The two girls know not to answer the door if anyone comes knocking and they know how to survive when the food runs out. They let their imaginations take control as they chew on stolen paper towels. These towels become a juicy cheeseburgers and long succulent hot dogs; it’s something that they trained their mind to do as they chew on the dry bits of cloth. The girls have each other as their mama told them to take care of each other and they can do just that.
Their story broke my heart. It seemed to begin when mama had been arrested for DUI and the girls were placed in separate foster homes. This separation broke Anna. The happy, fun- loving Anna returned to her sister Sara, broken and withdrawn with marks on her arms. She would not speak about what happened to her inside the walls of her foster home. The girls have had other experiences with foster families, some negative and some positive but their favorite place to be, is with the Silverman’s. They were grandparents to them. Daddy tries to be a good father but the bottle always calls for him and he answers, leaving him in shambles. He picks himself up, pays the price and tries to undo the damage that he has caused and starts over again. The bottle rules his world. The girls know the routine and with mother gone, they would rather stay home alone than be placed in foster care.
Home alone, the girls are startled when police and Child Services come to their door. Sneaking out, the girls take to the streets. They are welcomed at the Silverman’s, their first stop; a stop the girls wished would be their last. I loved the warmth and the gentleness that this relationship bestowed. Their father is in jail and the girls must be placed in temporary foster care so they are now moved to another home. In their new temporary home, the parents try to provide a loving environment and the girls try to adjust to their new home. Anna has difficulties, she lashes out and they are moved sooner than originally planned. I hated to see these children moved as if they were items instead of people with feelings and emotions. I realize that this is what happens in foster care, children being moved around but it was hard reading about the emotions these children were feeling. The girls just wanted to go home with their father where they had a routine, a routine that was familiar and comfortable for them but was not ideal for them. These children needed stability and love and someone to provide that for them. The title speaks for itself with Sara and as for Anna, she needed someone to help her overcome the issues that she was confronting so she could be successful. I really enjoyed this novel. I liked how it touched on foster care and the children who are affected by it.