If You Live Like Me

If You Live Like Me

A review of If You Live Like Me by Lori Weber

Published on June 1, 2009

If You Live Like Me
Lori Weber

Lobster Press

If You Live Like Me is another solid offering by local writer Lori Weber. Cheryl has just moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland, the latest pit stop in her anthropologist father’s cross-Canada quest to study “dying cultures.” She expects her life here to be no different than in the other communities they’ve visited since leaving their real home three years ago – depressing, friendless, and saturated with her parents’ irritating enthusiasm for authentic experiences. With each relocation, Cheryl has drifted further from her parents, donning black clothes to antagonize her quilter mother, and preferring the lyrics of Marilyn Manson over her father’s field notes. But when the boy next door, Jim, invites himself into her house and takes her for a walk around the fabled streets of the harbour city, the possibility of belonging – of “being where you are instead of where you aren’t,” as he puts it – awakens in her. Weber does a fine job of capturing Cheryl’s conflicting feelings of rootlessness and fear of connection. Newfoundland itself emerges as an important character too, personified by Jim, the fossil-hunting son of a former fisherman now working in Alberta’s oil sands. Jim’s obvious pride in his heritage and his reverence for family impresses Cheryl, who is just beginning to let down her barriers when her mother’s poor health may cause another move. (Ages 12+) mRb

Andrea Belcham lives in Saint-Lazare, where many of her best neighbours are trees.



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