Belly of the Whale
Author: Linda Merlino
Publisher: Kunati Inc. (April 1, 2008)
For many mothers, the eve of their daughter’s fifth birthday would be cause for celebration. For Hudson Catalina, it’s anything but.
After a long battle with breast cancer, Hudson is tired. She’s tired of the toxic treatments that leave her sick for days, tired of putting on a brave face for family and friends, tired of imagining her children’s lives without a mother. She has given up all hope of beating the disease that claimed her mother’s life when Hudson was just 14 years old. She decides to stop her treatments and resigns herself to her fate.
But fate has something else in mind for Hudson Catalina. A trip to the Whales Market for cupcake decorations for her daughter’s birthday turns into a night of terror. Held hostage by a former student, Hudson regains her will to live, but has it come too late?
Linda Merlino effectively portrays Hudson’s hopelessness and despair, while still giving the reader a sense of her underlying strength and, eventually, her hope. At just under 200 pages, Belly of the Whale is a quick read, but its enduring and inspirational message will stay with you long after you read the final page.
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