"MILES FROM ORDINARY," by Carol Lynch Williams, St. Martin's Press, 197 pages, $16.99 (f)

"Miles From Ordinary" is not an ordinary book.

In fact, it's so different it's almost bizarre.

But it's still readable and the story is interesting as Lacey tries to break free of her mother's obsessions and odd behaviors.

It's sad, sweet and tragic because Lacey is a good 13-year-old person caught in a situation that prevents her from having any kind of normal life.

She wants a normal mother, friends, freedom and a chance to breathe.

Instead, she has to deal with embarrassing episodes and harmful behavior. She has to explain her mother to others and, as best she can, to herself.

It's clear throughout that she loves her mother and wants her to be safe, but it's also increasingly clear that she cannot control or save her mother from herself.

The only hope in this story lies in a random boyfriend who decides to be kind and in Aunt Linda who abandoned the cause early on.

It's a roller-coaster ride as Lacey takes a chance and then has to deal with the consequences.

It's introspective and illuminating and odd, a quick and somewhat disturbing read.


What: Carol Lynch Williams book signing

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When: Saturday, April 23, 2 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Sharon Haddock is a professional freelance writer with 30 years experience, 17 of those at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com and her email is haddoc@desnews.com.