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Book for the Week of 4-7-03 is currently Like Normal People by Karen E. Bender

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Like Normal People charts a family constellation that revolves around an off-kilter center: Lena, who is forty-eight but mentally locked in her childhood. Moving deftly between present and past, the novel follows Lena's day-long escape from her residential home with her troubled twelve-year-old niece. While this odd couple takes refuge on a honky-tonk southern California beach, Lena's widowed mother, Ella, goes in search of them." "In the process, Ella relives her own life's dreams and disappointments: her marriage to a sweet, loving shoe salesman; her discovery of Lena's handicap and her aching attempts to give her daughter a "normal" childhood. For so long, Lena has been the focus of Ella's world. When Lena at last finds approximate normalcy - by marrying a man much like herself - Ella must contend with letting her daughter go.

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