|Plot Summary of The Usual Rules|
|"Thirteen year old Wendy is devastated the day her mother does not return from the office. She and her mother have been close ever since her father left before Wendy was born. Wendy lives in New York and the day her mother does not return is September 11, 2001.
Her stepfather, a nurturing man who makes his living playing the Slap Bass in Jazz Clubs is left to help Wendy and his own son, Louis, through this heartbreaking time. For weeks, the Stepfather and Wendy continue to search the hospitals of New York in case Wendy's mother has amnesia and is still alive somewhere. Five year old Louis has his own way of dealing with this tremendous loss and continues to wear all manner of capes (Superman, the Devil, Pirate) to his first few months of Kindergarten.
Wendy is agonizing through this time of loss when her biological father calls up from California and suggests 'maybe she could come on down to California, and get to know her real father, his girlfriend and her cactus collection.' Torn between staying with her family in New York and finally getting to know her real father, Wendy makes the decision to spend a few months in California.
Though she is registered for the eighth grade in her father's town, Wendy never makes it past the first day. The thread of family life and the loss of a mother is wovenly tenderly and thoughtfully throughout this novel of a young woman struggling through a great personal tragedy."
Marion Brenner, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of The Usual Rules|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Tone of book?
Time/era of story
- present (2000-2010)
- search for family/history
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Coping with loss of loved one(s)
- a teen
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
- White (American)
How sensitive is this character?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Cynical sense of humor
- Smarter than most other characters
- average physique
- natural phenomena
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- an average amount
Small town people:
- nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- moderately detailed references to deaths
- a lot of flashback and forwards
Amount of dialog
- significantly more descript than dialog
Click here for more information about this book
Diane Mornay Resident Scholar Profiles|
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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