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How It's Done

Review

How It's Done

Eighteen-year-old Grace Passedge has spent her life under the thumb of her controlling father. Her timid mother can't even stand up for herself, so she isn't much help to Grace. Raised in a God-fearing home, Grace has always assumed her parents' beliefs and followed their rules. She longs to break free of them but doesn't know how.

Her chance finally arrives when she meets Michael Irving, an attractive college professor. He is nearly 10 years older than Grace but is instantly attracted to her. Their relationship must be kept secret since they live in a small town, and Grace does not want her father to find out. When he finally does hear about her relationship with Michael, the fireworks fly and Grace has to decide where her loyalties lie.

During her relationship with Michael, Grace receives a lot of unsolicited advice from well-meaning friends and acquaintances. Among them is Michael's housekeeper, a nerdy boy she meets on a field trip, and her best friend, Liv.

Woven into the main plot is a nice subplot about the family dynamics between Grace's mother and father. The book's ending made me stand up and cheer.

Christine Kole MacLean, best known for her picture books and middle grade novels, writes with honesty and empathy in her first young adult novel. Readers will feel Grace's pain as she struggles to make her own decisions.

HOW IT'S DONE is completely original, and the characters are fresh and well-developed. Though not recommended for younger teens (due to the subject matter), this is a great book for opening up meaningful discussions between mothers and their teenage daughters.

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Reviewed by Renee Kirchner on October 18, 2011

How It's Done
by Christine Kole MacLean

  • Publication Date: September 8, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Flux
  • ISBN-10: 0738710296
  • ISBN-13: 9780738710297