It’s the summer, I was in need of a contemporary and Maddie and I just so happened to take a trip to our local library and we picked up a whole bunch of things! Fixing Delilah being one of them. I hadn’t heard anything about it previously, making it the perfect contemporary to leap into! I was definitely not expecting to like it as much as I did, but, man, Fixing Delilah was an amazing start to my summer of reading. My mum really loved people based movies that focus on familial relationships, specifically the bond between sisters, and I think this would perfectly fit the bill. So, if you want to have your heartstrings pulled and uncover a bit of mystery then I suggest you try and find your library’s copy too!
Delilah starts out as a bit of a trouble maker, probably because she wants to try and get her mother’s attention and she goes on a real journey of finding out more about herself and her family’s past. I really loved how centred this story was on family and good relationships. Reading about matriarchal families in particular I find really wonderful to read. At first I didn’t really like Delilah as the narrator, but eventually I warmed up to her voice when things started happening and she was making headway with her life and the mystery of her deceased aunt Stephanie and father.
I think Delilah’s an understated protagonist, because although a lot was going on in her life, she was able to handle things well. She seemed very detached from the life she had prior to her grandmother’s death, and because of that it wasn’t unrealistic that she would slip easily back into a life with Patrick.
I was far more interested in the relationship Delilah had with her mother than with the love interest. The way that she depicted her mother was so classic for teenaged girls, I think a lot of people would be able to relate to it.
As for the relationship with Boy Next Door Patrick I wasn’t that taken with him. Yes, he was dreamy and practically perfect, but I get that their relationship was artificial. Delilah had a habit of jumping to conclusion that got frustrating after a while, and as always they were a couple that could have benefitted from some communication. I may even go as far as to say that the story may have been better without the romance.
Plot and Pacing:
This story is a relatively slow one. It builds as something new is discovered or revealed. It mainly focuses on the women dealing with the aftermath of Delilah’s grandmother’s death and organising the house and any lasting affairs. I really loved discovering more about their family and how bits and pieces fit together and we didn’t get the whole picture until the very end.
I absolutely fell in love with the writing style, and will definitely be picking up more of Sarah Ockler’s books when I can. There was a perfect balance of figurative language, with such rich imagery that meant you could easily connect and relate to the events. It wasn’t difficult or confusing, either. There wasn’t too much embellishment, because that can be a real problem if it leads readers to lose focus on the story. The writing wasn’t pretentious, it was beautiful.
A lot of people have praised this book for it’s pacing and I 100% agree. There’s enough time spent on backstory and building the characters – even the secondary ones had personality, thank goodness. It’s just a wonderful contemporary read, that would be extremely easy to lose yourself in on a summer afternoon!
Overall, I gave Fixing Delilah 4 stars because it’s the perfect contemporary and everything you could want from a summer read.