When Robin learns that her boyfriend Chris is leaving the country on a summer program that will take him to Rome she is devastated. This was to be their last summer together before he left for college, and now Robin feels that everything is slipping away from her. She feels that she is nothing without Chris.
But with Chris gone Robin decides to go with her aunt and cousins on a road trip that will take them on a zig zag journey across the Western United States toward California. Since Robin has never left her home state of Iowa this trip appeals to her in a way, but at the same time she has never gotten along with her stuck up cousins. What is more, since their father's untimely death her relatives family situation has become even more problematic.
As the trip progresses tensions frequently erupt, and at first Robin rues the day that she agreed to come along. But soon Robin finds herself as a buffer of sorts, guiding her younger cousins and listening to their confessions and fears. As Robin helps her family deal with their problems she at the same time finds the strength to deal with her own issues and become a stronger person.
“Zigzag” uses a classic literary theme: a journey that represents not only actually traveling but an inward development and coming of age. However Ellen Wittlinger uses this potentially cliché theme in a way that renders completely interesting and remarkably unique. The characters in “Zigzag” are designed with love and their varying strengths and weakness are well balanced in the novels grand scheme. I enjoyed “Zigzag” for its fresh depictions and beautiful words. I recommend this novel for a journey that you won't forget.
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