by Scott O’Connor
Read: Aug 6 – Aug. 11, 2011
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly Count: 43
Source: Review Book courtesy of FSB Associates
Blurb: It is the autumn of 1999. A year has passed since Lucy Darby’s unexpected death, leaving her husband David and son Whitley to mend the gaping hole in their lives. Whitley – an 11-year-old social pariah known simply as The Kid – hasn’t spoken since his mother’s death. Instead, he communicates through a growing collection of notebooks, living in a safer world of his own silent imagining. As David continues to lose his grip on reality and The Kid’s sense of urgency grows, they begin to uncover truths that will force them to confront their deepest fears about each other and the wounded family they are trying desperately to save.
Review: I received a copy of this e-book courtesy of Leyane Jerejian at FSB Associates. I was intrigued by the blurb of this book. If I was to explain the premise of this book in three words it would be this: everyone grieves differently. The story revolves around a husband and son who lost their wife and mother the previous year. Her death was definitely an unspoken topic in the house. For the husband, who works nights for a company that cleans up the scene after a person has died, he can’t seem to handle what really happened. He doesn’t know how to handle The Kid. You can see this through the elaborate descriptions of his time at work. I’m not sure that Lucy’s death was ever talked about by David after he told his son and co-worker, Bob, about what happened. I think he just blocked it out. At the same time, the reader also gets a peek into the life of Whitley, or The Kid, as he is known throughout the book. The Kid has made a decision to not speak again. He seems to think that by giving up this form of communication, it will bring his mother back to him. He can’t seem to grasp the reality that she is gone. He wants to really believe that she’s just on vacation and that she will be back. I think part of this stems from the fact that he can’t talk to his father about it. This book was definitely unlike anything that I’ve ever read before. But I think it would be a book that would really hit home with anyone who has lost someone close to them. For me, it was the unexpected death of my grandfather when I was 12. He was the first person really close to me that I lost. I remember being absolutely numb. There was never much discussion about it after the funeral. It wasn’t that it was avoided or taboo in my house, it was just that everything was still too raw to talk about it at the time. Fourteen years later we have wonderful memories of him and we talk fondly of him quite a bit, so it’s like I said, everyone grieves differently. This book shows that. I would definitely recommend this book.