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Reviewed by Trix Lee for Readers' Favorite
Lizzy Baby by Sarah P Blanchard is a somber coming-of-age novella about Elizabeth Walters, an impressionable and quiet ten-year-old girl living with her churchgoing parents in a rural farm town. There really isn’t much to do in the town but Liz has fun hanging out with her best friend Stephanie who she admires greatly. Stephanie is beautiful and confident with the seemingly perfect life, supportive parents, and the most amazing pony Liz has ever seen in her young life. When ten-year-old Liz is made to watch her heifer, Belle, being bred, she is made aware of the harsh reality of procreation. When ten-year-old Liz is violated, she is made aware of the even harsher reality of human depravity and sexuality.
Sarah P Blanchard wrote a gripping story that made my blood run cold in one chapter and then made my blood boil in the next. The eponymous character, Liz, is someone who is easy to sympathize with. This ten-year-old girl has always tried her best to be strong and courageous and confident, exactly how she sees her best friend Stephanie. This young girl who has yet to learn about the realities of life, who just wanted to figure out her own journey to adulthood, is then suddenly forced to face the brutality of it all. What is even more brutal is when she couldn’t even trust her own family. Liz’s family is a highly traditional family that puts a lot of weight on obedience, subservience, and conformity. But all of that consistent weekly Sunday church sermons they went to did nothing for them when it comes to trust or the truth. Sarah P Blanchard wrote this story well. The narrative build-up was perfect and the indignation and utter outrage I felt for Liz was real. I truly wanted to reach inside the book and bring her to a safer place, far away from these grownups who aren’t meant to be called one. Lizzy Baby had me brewing tea to calm me down. Now, excuse me while I look for more Sarah P Blanchard novellas.