Buffie, Margaret. Out of focus.

Author:Rosser, Claire
Position:Brief article - Book review

BUFFIE, Margaret. Out of focus. Kids Can Press. 239p. c2006. 1-55337-955-1. $16.95. (Also available in paperback: 1-55337-956-X. $6.95.) JS

Out of Focus is an old, too-true sounding story about a teenager with extra burdens, looking after her younger siblings because their single mother is an irresponsible alcoholic. The motif that appears and reappears is that of photography, with interesting quotes at the start of each chapter. Bernice is an accomplished photographer who uses her camera to distance herself from the chaos of her life. When she finds out that a great-aunt she never met has died and left the family a lodge on a lake, she insists that her mother take them there to start a new life. The place is in ruins, but so are their lives; Bernice insists they work hard to fix the place up so they can live there, making a living by running a store for the summer visitors.

This plan begins to work out, with the help of friendly neighbors who adored the woman who was their aunt. As the mother Celia gets...

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