Yuri is 11 years old and has a heart condition that he was born with, that prevents him from going to school. So the school district has hired teachers to go and tutor him. Maggie is asked to tutor him in English. Maggie and her boyfriend Bill have moved in together and rented a house in Long Island. It’s close to both of their works. Maggie is hesitant to tutor Yuri because of a friend of hers had similar situation growing up and it still haunts her. After talking to her mom she decides to work with Yuri.
Yuri’s parents are Sasha and Katya (a former ballerina). They had lived in the Ukraine close to Chernobyl when the meltdown happened. They were told everything was find where they were but were lied to. Sasha is Jewish and they allowed the Jews to leave there and he applied and they left. We learn their story through flashbacks and how they are where they are now.
Yuri is a bit standoffish at first but Maggie soon gets through to him through his love of Baseball and the Yankees. Yuri just wants to be a normal boy and soon resents not being able to go to school and do other things kids his age do. He is soon allowed to do some of those things and be treated like a normal boy. Maggie gets close to him and learns a lot from his spirit. And she will need it when tragedy strikes personally and professionally. She soon makes decisions about her life and makes must needed changes that will affect her future.
Make sure you have some tissues around when reading this book. It’s a fascinating look at the life of a sick boy and his love for his family and baseball and his will to survive. A well-written book that you will want to keep reading to see how these characters will change and grown and end up.
You can pick up The Secret Clouds in stores on Tuesday, February 19th from Berkley.