The heart of the novel The Higher Power of Lucky is its main character, Lucky Trimble, who manages to portray how ten-year-olds speak, reason, and feel in a timeless fashion. The way Lucky thinks about her life and, especially, the way she makes sense of her strange family and living situation are both heartbreaking and heartwarming. She finds meaning in pain, order in chaos, and humor in the midst of a dust storm.
At least as impressive, though, is how Lucky fits into the town of Hard Pan, California. With a population of only 43, it is a place where every detail matters, and Lucky, who idolizes Charles Darwin, studies it like the natural scientist she wants to be. The difference is that, though Lucky observes her environment with an acuity similar to Darwin’s, she is interwoven with her environment. Each of her perceptive observations is also an adaptation that carries emotional and spiritual implications.
On a simpler level, The Higher Power of Lucky is downright fun. Lucky’s eye for detail, her intense ambitions, her storytelling abilities, and her interactions with friends such as Lincoln the knot-obsessed are pure pleasure.