Mclean Elizabeth Sweet has moved a lot since her parents got a divorce, but she doesn’t really mind. Every time she moves, she has the opportunity to try on a new personality. She even changes her name a little bit with each personality tweak. She’s been Eliza (popular, hung with “jocks and rah-rahs”), Lizbet (took up with “drama mamas and dancers”), and Beth (“student-council secretary and all-around joiner”). This time around, though she planned to create a Liz persona, she somehow got stuck just being Mclean.
Mclean moves so often because her father, Roy, sold his own restaurant and got a gig working as a consultant for EAT INC to escape the drama surrounding his divorce — i.e. his wife leaving him for the new coach of his favorite basketball team. You know? The team he grew up worshiping. The team he played for in college. The team whose “winningest” coach inspired his daughter’s name! By working with EAT INC, he was able to escape the mess in his home town and throw himself into his work so that he would not even have time to think about what happened. His example is surely what taught Mclean that inventing a new life for yourself is the easiest way to avoid the problems of the past.
But what happens if you start to get attached? If you start to care about the people around you? If you start to worry about goodbye instead of welcoming another chance to leave with no regrets? Well. You finally have to stop and take a look at what you’ve been running from all along and admit to yourself that you can’t leave yourself behind no matter how hard you try.
Happy Teen Read Week!