A Friend at Midnight
Fifteen-year-old Lily Rosetti has had many ups and downs in the past few years: her parents' divorce, her mother remarrying, and then the arrival of her little brother Nathaniel. While these events would be difficult for anyone to adjust to, Lily has learned to cope and has settled comfortably into a new routine with her blended family. Unfortunately, this has not been the case for her younger brother Michael, who feels left out and has to share a room with the noisy, messy Nathaniel.
Then, much to his family's dismay, Michael decides he wants to go live with his father. Given his determination, Lily's family has no choice but to let the eight-year-old go.
Two weeks later, Lily receives a phone call from Michael, who has been abandoned by his father and left at the Baltimore-Washington Airport with no means of returning home. Since she is taking care of Nathaniel while her family helps her older sister Rebecca move into her college dorm, Lily is forced to secretly buy a ticket and, along with Nathaniel, take a four-hour flight that will bring her to her frightened younger brother.
Reluctantly, on Michael's insistence (and later to try to shield her brother from being a target of unfair scrutiny), Lily decides not to tell the rest of the family yet about the real reason for Michael's surprise return nor the events leading up to the abrupt abandonment.
However, keeping such an important secret will not be easy, and Lily is thrown onto an emotional rollercoaster that will test her religious faith.
A FRIEND AT MIDNIGHT presents Lily's and Michael's, and sometimes Nathaniel's, emotions quite well. However, there were a couple of things that bothered me about the story: the stepfather seems to show more genuine concern about Michael's return and his well-being than his mother and Rebecca do, and there is a significant time lapse in the story before there appears to be any type of real resolution to the family's crisis. I think if those two aspects had been explored further, the book would have been more compelling throughout rather than just in the beginning chapters.
Nevertheless, A FRIEND AT MIDNIGHT is never boring and is worth checking out. It takes a somewhat realistic look at how the repercussions --- both good and bad --- of a life-changing event (or in this case, multiple life-changing events) can affect a family.
Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle on October 10, 2006
A Friend at Midnight
- Publication Date: August 19, 2008
- Genres: Fiction
- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: WaterBrook Press
- ISBN-10: 1400072093
- ISBN-13: 9781400072095