Top positive review
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"You grabbed hold of my life and offered me your own."
on October 22, 2005
Leah Stewart's "The Myth of You and Me" is a touching and intimate character study of two girls who become best friends at the age of fourteen. The story is told mostly in flashback. Twenty-nine year old Cameron Wilson is a live-in aide in the home Oliver Doucet, a ninety-two year old Pulitzer Prize winning historian. One day, Cameron is startled to receive a letter from her former friend, Sonia Gray, whom she abandoned after the two had a major quarrel. Sonia is about to get married and she wants to reconcile with Cameron. Although Oliver encourages Cameron to make amends with Sonia, she decides to ignore the letter. Only after Oliver's death does Cameron decide to look Sonia up and try to make peace with her.
With delicacy and compassion, Leah Stewart examines the pain that both Cameron and Sonia suffer as they grow up. Cameron is an Air Force brat who is forced to move six times in fourteen years, and to make matters worse, her classmates taunt her for being the tallest person in her class. Sonia has a severe learning disability, and she endures repeated beatings and tongue lashings from her abusive and psychotic mother. Sonia puts up a brave front in school, but she reveals her weaknesses and insecurities to Cameron. Cameron has never been in one place long enough to get to know her peers, but with Sonia, she feels right at home. After the two girls spend their high school and college years together, it appears that their friendship will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, when they have a bitter falling out over a man, their relationship abruptly ends.
The author beautifully captures the bittersweet nature of female friendship, which can be a source of great comfort or, when things go wrong, of deep anger and hurt. Through Cameron's eyes, Leah Stewart explores the circuitous paths that a woman takes in life, the memories that never leave her, and her feelings of betrayal when someone whom she trusts breaks her heart. The writing in "The Myth of You and Me" is lyrical, romantic, and heartbreaking. Anyone who has ever been lonely, fallen in love, or regretted the loss of a close friend will be enchanted by this gem of a novel.