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Saying It Out Loud by Joan Abelove (1999)



Hardcover with DJ in Very Good (VG) condition. From a private library, with very light markings, otherwise looks new. 

More than anything, Mindy longs to be told the truth. From the doctors, from her father. Mom isn't going to get better, she isn't going to leave the white room in the hospital ever again, isn't going to come home to fill the candy bowl with its magical stash of M&M's. But it's the silence, the avoidance and denial, that hurts Mindy the most. The year is 1961 -- clearly evoked in the music and movies (there is a powerful scene involving Spartacus). Mindy's father has absented himself emotionally from her adolescence, after stating, in his absolute way, that she will date no one who's not Jewish. Facing the death of her mother from a brain tumor, Mindy feels like an orphan, and, like her mother, excluded from life -- until friends get her laughing again, until she can see her mother and their relationship squarely and lovingly. This is a book that, though dark at its center, casts light on all sides, with extraordinary tenderness.