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Fiction Review – Made in the U.S.A.

Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts

Review by Mirah Welday (mwelday)

 

Many years ago I read Where the Heart Is and I really enjoyed it.  When I saw Made in the U.S.A. on the shelf, I decided to give it a chance and, once again, Billie Letts didn’t let me down.

Told with the same straight-forward voice as Where the Heart Is, Made in the U.S.A. introduces us to Lutie and Fate McFee.  Children of a ne’er-do-well father who has left them with his girlfriend in Spearfish, South Dakota while he goes to Las Vegas to make his fortune, Lutie and Fate are used to a life with difficulties.  They soon find themselves struggling to take care of themselves in a world where they are at a serious disadvantage with limited resources and support.

When hope is lost and times beyond desperate, enter in a helping hand and support system that seems to be too fantastic and heaven-sent to be real.  A stranger with a way to help and a possible family where Ludie and Fate can finally find a place to belong.  But this stranger has issues of his own that the children don’t understand.

There were some very difficult passages in Made in the U.S.A.; passages that were painful and heartbreaking to read. Children who have been hurt and traumatized due to the actions of those who were meant to protect them leaves them in situations that are precarious, dangerous, and demoralizing.  Made in the U.S.A. is a story about being more than the tragedy of our circumstances.  Heartfelt and powerful, Letts provides a commentary of hope and faith during the darkest of times.

 

 

 

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