Ginny in 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson has the adventure that I probably need. She receives a package of letters from her dead aunt encouraging her to follow instructions blindly. She travels across Europe on her own and grows into a different person.
I’ve been to most of the places she went, and it was like a trip down memory lane. I was surprised at her bravery but also the lack of being told that she was a brave person. Maureen showed me the bravery instead of knocking me on the head with it like some sort of Latin lecture I’d be too stupid to understand.
I was frustrated and confused by it being written in third person. Every time I read a letter and it went back to the narrative, I had to remind myself that Ginny was not the narrator. It was unsettling and threw me out of the story a few times.
This book is old enough that I think I can talk about it without spoiling suprises, but if you haven’t read it, please stop here.
I absolutely could not believe that the final letter was lost. There had to be a way for her to find it. Or the thief was going to mail it to her somehow. She was a good tourist and had written her address in the backpack in case it got lost and she would return home to find the letter waiting for her. It couldn’t be lost! But, alas, it was.
I’m usually ok when a character dies, but the fact that she didn’t get to read the last letter was the most morbid, disgusting death of a character I have ever felt. It might just have to do with the fact that I personally hate losing things, but it could also be that I really felt the death of her aunt at that moment.
I wish someone would compel me to travel on my own and find myself. I need a good dose of being completely alone and helpless.