BOOKLIST Review of My Kind of People

When her adoptive parents die in a car accident, 10-year-old Sky is placed in the custody of her father’s best friend, Leo. To give Sky some much-needed stability, Leo and his husband, Xavier, relocate to tiny Ichabod Island so that Sky can remain at home with her friends. Although the close-knit community has been a source of support for both Sky and Leo, there are a lot of secrets beneath the idyllic exterior. Sky’s parents’ picture-perfect marriage, for example, masked alcoholism and bipolar disorder. Maggie, a teacher who is close to Leo and Sky, is struggling with a loveless marriage to the local police chief, and Maggie’s best friend Agnes is disapproving and meddlesome, inviting Sky’s grandmother to challenge the custody agreement. There’s a lot to follow, but Duffy (This is Home, 2019) balances the stories effectively, focusing on the common thread of young Sky and the community who cares for her. The secrets and scandals are realistic, avoiding over-the-top drama in favor of thoughtful, poignant stories from a grieving community. Fans of Emilie Richards and Patti Callahan Henry will be drawn to this heartwarming tale. — Nanette Donohue