So B. It is a novel that centers on twelve-year-old Heidi It, who is eager to find out more about who she is. Living with her mentally disabled mother, So B. It, and her neighbor, Bernadette, Heidi feels as though a puzzle piece is missing. She ventures out to find that missing piece.
It all began twelve years ago when So was outside her apartment door and in her hands was her infant daughter, Heidi. Generous neighbor, Bernadette, stepped in and graciously offered to help out. From that day on, Heidi and So gained not only a generous neighbor, but also family.
As Heidi grew older, her curiosity as to who she is overcomes her. One of her greatest mysteries is ‘soof,’ a word her mother always says. I found this to be a critical point in the novel as Heidi seeks to discover not only the meaning of this word but also unknown truths of her life. When Heidi sees a roll of old film in the back of the kitchen drawer, she finds photos of a young So with a young man, taken at Hilltop Home, Liberty, New York. Heidi decides to go there from Reno, Nevada. At first, Bernadette is not on board. In fact, she discourages Heidi from traveling to New York, but eventually allows her to pursue her goal.
Traveling bus by bus, Heidi’s journey to New York becomes profoundly interesting and compelling. As she meets new people, she also discovers more about herself. Shortly after Heidi arrives at Hilltop Home, she is kindly taken in by one of the caretakers Ruby, and her husband Roy. Meanwhile, Bernadette, worried and concerned, begs Heidi to return home; however, Heidi is focused only on her goal and ignores Bernadette.
Heidi uncovers the true mysteries of who she is, where her family is from, and the meaning of the hazy word ‘soof.’ Throughout the rest of the book, one page at a time, everything becomes clear and Heidi, at last, finds closure.
So B. It is a truly special story that triggers a pure and sad feeling. Sarah Weeks is an amazing author and I look forward to reading more of her work.