Harriet is 11 going on 30. Her mixed-media art is a source of wonder to her younger brother, Irwin, but an unmitigated horror to the panoply of insufficiently grown-up grown-ups who surround her. She plans to run away to Algonquin Park, hole up in a cabin like Tom Thomson, and paint trees; and so, to fund her escape, she runs errands for the seniors who inhabit the Shangrila, the decrepit apartment building that houses her fractured family.
Long listed for the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize, Lemon is the story of a teenaged girl with the numbers against her: Three mothers, one deadbeat dad, one cancer-riddled protégé, two friends, one tree-hugging stepbrother, and a 60 percent average. The adults in her life are all mired in self-centeredness and the other kids are busy getting high, and she just can't be bothered to fit in.
Things aren't going Milo's way. His acting career is floundering, he got dumped, his miserable father vanished, and people keep moving into his house. He finally decides to take action - to help the only person he really likes, the autistic boy next door who's being bullied. But, well, that doesn't really go his way either.
Stevie, a recovering alcoholic and kitchen manager of Chappy’s, a small-chain restaurant, is frantically trying to prevent the people around her from going supernova: her PTSD-suffering veteran son, her uproariously demented parents, the polyglot eccentrics who work in her kitchen, the blind geriatric dog she inherits, and a damaged 5-year-old who landed on her doorstep and might just be her granddaughter. In the tight grip of new corporate owners, Stevie battles corporate’s “restructuring” to save her kitchen.