F-I-N-E is a FOUR-LETTER WORD
by Canadian author, R. Jetleb
“How are you today?”
How many of us have said those exact words when we really are not fine? I know I have. It is human nature to try and hide the truth from the world because we don’t want everyone to know how we are actually feeling. We don’t want the sympathetic looks. Comments. Hugs. We just want to be left alone in our misery. So, we are “Fine.”
R. Jetleb takes this a step further in her newest novel, F-I-N-E is a FOUR-LETTER WORD, just released this September, 2018. Allison is a young teenager whose life is torn apart after the untimely death of her father. From that point on, everything is “fine” in her life, if anyone cares to ask. Her family is gone, and she wonders if she will ever have a family she can call her own again.
Allison is shuffled from foster home to foster home, and in her mind, her life just gets “finer,” as she sets up roadblock after roadblock against anyone reaching through her emotional walls! After a brief few months of happiness, when Allison falls in love, once again her world crashes when she is dumped after opening up to her boyfriend. However, to heal her broken heart, Allison says to herself that everything is “fine” – she just won’t talk to anyone about her feelings, ever again! Then, she finds herself in another predicament, and the foster parents she is with care more for their rules than they do for getting down to the emotional level of their foster daughter to help her. So, Allison runs.
After living on the street for several weeks, Allison comes face to face with an attack on someone she’s become attached to – another young girl living on the street. Stepping in to help her friend, Allison is shot and wakes up in the hospital. She decides to never talk to anyone again.
A visit from her social worker, with the news she will be going to yet another foster home, does not allay Allison’s spirit. All she wants to do is die. In her mind, this place won’t be any different than the others; it will be just a house to temporarily lay her head until she can completely escape from the world. She is F-I-N-E remaining in her own little world.
But, Allison soon realizes this home is different. The foster parents are different. They are dedicated to the children they take into their home. The children become theirs. The bricks in Allison’s wall start to slowly crumble…
F-I-N-E will take you on an emotional rollercoaster as Allison struggles to find a new place in her shattered world. The story, although fiction, is buried in the reality of what many children in our society are forced to deal with. And I might guess to say, 99.9% of those children, if asked how they are doing, will say “Fine.”