"Desert Rice" is written from the viewpoint of Sam, but not the twelve-year-old Sam. Instead it is an older, wiser Sam looking back at a pivotal year in her short life who tells this compelling story.
I was immediately drawn into Sam and Jacob's story. Their attempt to survive on their own at such a young age made this mother's heart break. Sam's experience with horses brought me back to fond memories of my own childhood, and the horse friends I rode with in those days.
But it is the last quarter of the book, where the story behind "that fateful day" is revealed that took me by surprise and nearly brought me to tears, Unfortunately I was sitting in the waiting room of the dentist's office at the time and it was all I could do to contain myself and not reveal my deep disturbance to the people around me.
"Desert Rice" is a strongly written, powerful book that will bring you to your knees and make you want to hug and kiss your children. Although it is labelled as a young adult novel, I would not recommend it for anyone under the age of 15.