The main setting of the story, Waiting for Normal, takes place in modern times in Schenectady, New York. Addie, the main protagonist is moved there by her mother and lives in a trailer. Times are hard for Addie as she is often left alone by her mother (Mommers) who is bi-polar. The family is poor, and Addie is often neglected and has to cook, clean, and take care of herself when her mother disappears for days at a time. Addie wants to be part of a family, to live a “normal” life, and throughout the story, she seeks some sort of stability in her life. She becomes friends with Soula and Elliot who watch Addie when her mother is not around. Her ex-stepfather, Dwight, also tries to help the situation as much as he can. All Addie wants is to live with her ex-stepfather and his daughters, and luckily, Addie is able to do that by the end of the novel.
Waiting for Normal is a testament of a young girl’s ability to survive a difficult situation and come out alive and well.