In the Middle is a realistic and poignant tale of a boy who is coming to the precipice of adulthood. It is written by Zelmer Wilson, who discovered his true passion and love for reading and writing, when he was visiting his mother and sisters in Birmingham, Alabama. In the Middle is his debut novel which is inspired by his own teenage life in Phoenix, Arizona, where he grew up.
In the Middle is a coming of age story that will warm the hearts of most readers and help them relate to the protagonist, Miller Hoffman. He is a troubled youth, and the narrator of the story, who is telling his own troubled tale. Although he yearns to find his place in the world and love within his family, he is unable to satisfy his stern and violent stepfather. The story is set in Phoenix, Arizona around the 1980’s. It narrates ten years of Miller’s life, who is torn between his growing attraction for his stepmom and the desire to please his stepfather.
His heart is being torn apart by his inability to do both. However, all of his experiences shape him and change him from a teen filled with disappointments and angst to an adult, who values life and family. Although the story is fictional, readers will get a memoir-like feel from it. It is an easy read, and filled with free-flowing ideas that merge into one another, thus making it easier for the readers to move forward with the story at an easy pace.
Readers will find this poignant story delightful and the fast-paced nature of the tale will force them to complete the novel in one sitting. Beautifully crafted, this novel aims to please and portray the struggles of a teenager in a realistic way. It depicts how a kid struggles while growing up. The readers will definitely be able to relate to the story on a personal level, by identifying the certain elements of teen angst, the coming-of-age emotional dramas and meaningful events that shape our lives.