My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won’t find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could’ve been better or what worked or didn’t work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it’s here I probably think it won’t injure your brain if you read it.
Flora and Julian weren’t born. They have no baby pictures, and cannot remember their beginnings. They are Only’s – only able to depend on each other as they cycle through an endless parade of foster homes, where Flora’s words keep getting stuck in her throat and Julian hides food in his room, always afraid of hunger.
But now there is Person, who promises she will be with them forever. Flora has called too many people Mother; the word has lost all meaning. It feels like this time they might actually have a home, but then change comes again. Person is going to have a baby. A baby that is born, a baby that will be so much easier to love than a fourth grader that can’t communicate and her brother that hides chicken fingers in his coat pockets.
Somehow, Person seems to understand, and she wants to help Flora and Julian stitch together what little memories they have of their pasts in order to get back to when they were born. With a scant trail of paperwork, patchy memories, and overworked foster parents, the family goes on a trip to find where Julian and Flora came from, and try to understand who they fell through the cracks of the system.