Thursday, May 30, 2013

Waiting: A review

Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Info: Copyright 2012, 335 pages

A review in 10 words (or thereabouts): A beautiful story of grief and life in verse.

Growing up in Africa and Latin America as the children of missionaries, London and Zach were as close as could be. And then Zach dies, and the family is gutted. London’s father is distant. Her mother won’t speak. The days are filled with what-ifs and whispers: Did Zach take his own life? Was it London’s fault?

Alone and adrift, London finds herself torn between her brother’s best friend and the handsome new boy in town as she struggles to find herself—and ultimately redemption—in this authentic and affecting novel from award-winning novelist Carol Lynch Williams.

~Goodreads Description~

The Breakdown
It has been nine months.  Nine months since London Castle had a brother.  Nine months since her mother had talked to her.  Nine months since the world seemed right.  London feels as if she's lost everything.  Her friends at school have stopped talking to her, her dad works long hours to avoid coming home, and she's lost, empty.  And then a new family moves into town.  And an old friend tries to reconnect.  And the courage London has needed to slowly wake up from the nightmare she's been living starts to creep into small moments each and every day.

The Awesome
 At first I had trouble with the novel-in-verse structure.  I couldn't find a rhythm.  The words felt disjointed and choppy.  And then I realized the brilliance of this structure.  It mirrored London's pain.  Only a few words escaping at any one time.  London chocked on words.  She couldn't find them.  Had no reason to talk.  So the novel-in-verse structure was absolutely perfect.

The Not So Awesome
Worst. Mother. Ever.  Before the incident.  Before the grief.  She still was awful.  What kind of mother openly admits and flaunts favoritism toward a child.  She was just...ick.

I've never known grief like London's.  I've never lost anyone unexpectedly.  I've never felt crushing sorrow.  I can't imagine losing a best friend, brother, or son before his time.  I truly hope I never have to.  So it was difficult for me to grasp what London was experiencing.  Beyond the grief, Carol Lynch Williams has told a story of faith, of love, of hope, and of friendship.  That's what I loved the most about this book.  Faith is hard, but can heal.  Loneliness can be easier, but friendship can heal.  Hatred can consume, but love can heal.  Hope can feel impossible, but it can be real.   Just a beautiful book.

Similar Titles The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, My Sister Lives On the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.

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