Sixteen-year-old Maxine Marmarino is stronger than she looks. She’s grown up Italian to the core in the Big Apple, just her and Dad against the world. He’s been her champion and that’s enough for her—until he dies. Max is cast adrift in the Social Services network of New York City with nothing to her name except what she can fit in a backpack. When she’s shipped upstate, armed with her father’s leather jacket, his army shirt, and an attitude that is much bigger than her, she’ll feel as small as a mouse. Forced to leave everything she’s ever known behind, Max doesn’t know if she can cut it in this strange place with a man she’s never met.Clay Thatcher is titanium tough. It’s been his best friend since he lost his leg in Operation Desert Storm. Life has forced him to be strong, but he’s still not sure he’s strong enough to go on after losing the love of his life. He has no clue what to do with a teenager. His best friend, Ray Marmarino, saved his butt on the other side of the world over twenty years ago. The least he can do is return the favor for his daughter. Clay has a feeling it’s going to be the hardest thing he’s ever done. When the City Mouse is forced to become the Country Mouse with no turning back, Max and Clay will learn a valuable lesson. They might not be able to fix the shattered pieces of their past, but maybe they can build a new beginning. If they are brave enough. (Summary via Goodreads)
Heidi Sprouse’s books could be made into movies……and her book Mouse could be on the Hallmark or Lifetime Channels.
Mouse is a feel good story with a rough feel to it. It has a lot of meaning and growth within the story. Mouse has many levels. The story focuses on 2 very different people, Clay who is a grown man dealing with his own personal demons and Max who is a 16 year old who has had to grow up quickly and deal with more demons than someone her age should ever have to face. Clay and Max are brought together because Max’s dad dies of cancer and Clay, his old Army buddy, is the only person in the world that comes close to being a guardian to her. So Max moves from New York City out to the country to live with Clay. Clay lives on a farm with his dog and his memories. His wife Stella died of cancer also and Clay cannot get over losing her. Clay also is dealing with injuries he suffered from the war…..basically Clay is a miserable person and Max is a deep soul living beyond her age. These two are brought together and as they adjust to being around each other, getting to know each other and dealing with their demons, they realize that they can help each other become whole again.
When you start reading Mouse you are drawn to both Clay and Max and cannot help but turn the pages to find out how their relationship with grow and if they can both heal inside and out. Everytime you think that they are going to make it, something happens setting their relationship back into turmoil. But as we all know nothing worth having comes easy and we know that Clay and Max and their relationship is worth having.
I am a HUGE fan of Sprouse and her books. She writes so much more that just a story. Her books and her stories have meaning and love and teach the reader a lot. Her books stay with the reader forever and grab a place in your heart and stays with you forever. I for one loved Mouse and wouldn’t be surprised if there was a follow up to this book. Sprouse not only gave the reader an amazing story but she built a foundation and if she wanted to she could add so many more layers to Clay and Max and their journeys through life.
Review by Missi S.