Out of Order
Betty Hicks offers a new take on birth order in the book Out of Order. In this story the siblings are not all "blood" relatives, but step-siblings. The former oldest child on the maternal side is Lily. She is now the third child, or second to the youngest. Victoria, known as V, is the daughter on the paternal side and has moved up to being the second child, oldest daughter, from being the youngest. There are also two boys, Eric- who is now the oldest- and Parker - who remains the youngest, as two families blend into one. In Out of Order, Betty Hicks tells the story of this family, a newly blended family, from four different points of view. In alternating chapters each of the four gives his, or her, view of the actions and attitudes of the others. In the beginning of the story the girls just don't get along, each feels forgotten by her own birth parent. The boys are easier, mainly because their ages are not so close, and one is the oldest, the other the youngest.
Each child makes demands, mistakes, has secrets, and grudges. It is the perceptions of their own place in the family that drives the action as each one competes with the others for a defined "role" in the new family.
The parents contribute to the competitive edge in the story. Each tiptoeing in his and her own way with each other's children, while trying to remain neutral and project a united front as parents.
This is an interesting look at personalities, change, and acceptance. A very realistic view of how families can blend successfully. It is also a fun read.