Delible is about the disappearance of a 16-yearold girl named Mel Sprague in Mississauga (a large suburb in Ontario). The story is narrated by Mel’s younger sister, the depressing Lora, who is the less wild of the two. Mel and Lora were raised by a single mother and marginally survive in uninspiring community housing. I actually grew up in Mississauga and have one sister therefore I thought I would be able to relate to the story of Mel and Lora. I was wrong. If anything, I felt that if I went to school with the Sprague sisters they would be bullies who I would hate.
Although I sympathized with the situation of the family dealing with the disappearance of the troubled Mel and the tragedy of how the police assumed that Mel ran away to escape poverty and was not abducted, I cared very little for the actual character.
The sisters were too rough, dull and plain for my liking, which, I must admit, enhanced the ugly atmosphere of the novel but not the storyline. Teenage Mel was so passionless and unimpressed with life that somehow, she already seemed dead. Therefore Mel disappearing halfway through the novel made very little impact on me as I could have cared less about her character. An aspect of the novel that I liked was how Stone painted a rough suburban landscape, not an unoriginal white picket fence impression of the suburbs. However, it was not enough to keep me interested in a rather humourless and serious storyline. Stone is a gifted writer no doubt, her ability to describe time, place and the ungraceful normalcy of suburban life is apparent, however, I felt that some of her storytelling was wasted with such drab characters. In the end, I felt that I knew girls who were very much like Mel and Lora but sadly, I didn’t care for them. Sort of like how I did not care for this book. (Erin Kobayashi)
307 pgs, by Anne Stone, $21.95, Insomniac Press, 192 Spadina Avenue, Suite 403, Toronto, ON, M5T , 2C2, insomniacpress.com