Actually, everything is anything but fine in Mazzy's world as she struggles single-handedly to take care of her mother who is in deep depression. I love the style and organization of this book. It is written in short, terse segments that are more like staccato rat-a-tat-tats than paragraphs. In each one of these titled segments, Mazzy's story unfurls in bursts of understanding and we are gradually enlightened to the details of her story.
Mazzy creates a series of coping strategies that manage, for most of the book, to keep the world at bay, including her father and well intentioned neighbors. It's clear from the beginning that Mazzy's mother is practically catatonic in her depression as Mazzy talks to her, cares for her, and pretends that Mom is just a little tired. Considering that Mazzy is a young teen and obviously coping alone with issues beyond her age to understand and control is probably more understandable than at first glance. She does an excellent job of keeping people at bay, out of her house, and away from her mom.
Everything is Fine by Ann Dee Ellis is a page-turning, heart-breaking story about a family tragedy, how the family processes and copes with that tragedy, and tries to find their way back to each other and a shared future. You can't help but love and root for Mazzy. This is a girl with determination and grit. Mazzy is revealed to us in the short riffs of prose as she becomes revealed to herself. It's a marvelous story and I highly recommend it.