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Buried Hardcover – September 21, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up–Claudine Carbonneau, a high-school senior in Deep Cove, ME, wakes up to find her alcoholic mother gone, leaving the teen to clean up their trashed home and to explain her mother's absence. As Claude attempts to carry on alone, it becomes apparent that readers aren't getting all the details of the night of the woman's disappearance, and that Claude is, in fact, an unreliable and unstable narrator. She tells her support group and her best friend, also the child of an alcoholic, that her mother has willingly checked into a rehab facility and convinces herself that this is true. She also displays increasingly advanced obsessive-compulsive tendencies as she attempts to order her life. Details of the mother-daughter relationship are revealed in awkwardly placed flashbacks, interior monologues, and letters; as a result, readers are effectively told, rather than shown, the key elements that would lead them to care about the protagonist. MacCready attempts to construct a layered, psychological mystery, building to a dramatic final scene in which truths are both literally and figuratively unearthed. Unfortunately, this first novel suffers from clumsy pacing, clichéd symbolism, and a preachy message about the need for children of alcoholics to accept their parents' role in their own recovery. The shocking final scene is overly dramatic and unsatisfying, and Claude's realizations about herself and her mother are not believable.–Riva Pollard, The Winsor School Library, Boston
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

High-school senior Claudine looks after her alcoholic mother in their decrepit trailer on the coast of Maine. She cleans up her vomit, washes her clothes, and takes on the role of parent in their family of two. When her mother disappears, as she frequently does on binges or with a new boyfriend, Claudine is at first relieved to have the house to herself, and she tells everyone that her mother is in rehab. She worries about her mother, too. Claudine is both immensely competent and obsessive-compulsive, scrubbing her hands to the point of damage and engaging in counting rituals. Although she attends a support group and has a caring best friend, teachers, and school counselors to turn to, she is clearly coming apart. MacCready spins a tantalizingly creepy web of Claudine's disintegration, told through letters to her absent mother, dream sequences, and flashbacks. The shocking but wholly believable climax is a moving ending to this cautionary, empathetic story of codependency. For another book about a teen raising herself, suggest Ron Koertge's Margaux with an X (2004). Debbie Carton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: AWARDS: ALA Best Books for Young Adults 2008
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (September 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525477241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525477242
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,898,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Welcome! I live on the coast of Maine with my husband, two sons, and my dog.


I come from a family of teachers, writers, artists, and musicians, so it wasn't a surprise when I became a teacher. The surprise came when I turned forty and suddenly I had a story that I HAD to write. Something came over me that fall and I dared to take a risk on a dream. It felt right as soon as I met my first character, even though she'll probably never see the light of day!

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By niki on December 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I read this book after seeing an interview with the editor. It was all she had made it out to be. The book opens with Claude's mother missinig. However, this is not the first time her alchoholic mother takes off without letting Claude know. In fact, throughout Claude's life, she had taken on the responsibility of taking care of her mother. Now, she realizes all she has to look after is herself. However, the pressure and lies she makes up about her mother's disappearance eventually take their toll on the young teen and during a hurricane it all comes to a head. This is definitely a gread read with a surprise at the end.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Janet Gingold on April 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This beautifully written, carefully constructed novel paints a deeply disturbing portrait of a seventeen-year-old girl who becomes trapped in the obsessive compulsions she uses to cope with the loss of her alcoholic mother. I found it profoundly moving. However, it deserves an R rating--readers under seventeen should only embark on this journey if accompanied by a caring adult who can help pull them out of its relentless downward spiral.

Looking for a gentler treatment of parental absence and mother-daughter issues? For a younger audience, Danger, Long Division models an internal dialogue that encourages problem solving and nurtures resilience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Openne on March 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had to read this book for an English assignment, and what a surprise! It was really good! I read through it very quickly and was really shocked at the ending. It was a great read. I'd definitely recommend it!
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