5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
DO NOT MISS THIS BOOK! A TRUE TREASURE!!!!!,
This review is from: A Year and a Day: A Novel (Hardcover)
A YEAR AND A DAY deals with the loss - through suicide - of Alice and Will's mother. The story is narrated by 15 year-old Alice and is set in rural Iowa during the 70's. Great memories there if you were a young adult during that era!!!!!!!!!!!!
The kicker is this -- Alice hears her Mom's voice from beyond -- and has almost daily conversations with her. Sound crazy? It is NOT. This book is so unique and very, very good.
After Alice's mom kills herself, the family is devasted. Alice and her older, much adored brother, Will, live with their great Aunt Aggy. Confused, lonely, grief-stricken, they try to pick up their lives and attempt to get through the FIRST YEAR of grief. Alice has been assured by her high school principal that she will be OK after that first year. Anyone who has ever lost somebody they love truly knows this is NOT the case.
With her mom talking to her, Alice attempts to get through her days. Her friends treat her differently now that her mom has killed herself, her aunt seems to have gone off the deep end, her brother, dealing with his own grief, has started to hang out with the town's bad boy, Joe Fry. Alice has never felt so alone in her life.
Through her Mom's "chats", Alice finds things out about her Mom that she never knew or realized. She now understands that her Mom was a PERSON too -- had loves, hopes, dreams, hates, and was also once a young teenage girl and not just always her MOM. She also learns things about her never known father and her mother's life with him. Plus, her mom is there to guide Alice through some rough situations.
Alice takes us through her days at school, life in small-town rural Iowa, and her first major love, bad boy, Joe Fry. Joe, while being considered the bad boy of the town, is not. He wears his hair too long, goes to class when he feels like it, drives too fast, drinks too much, has no curfew or rules; he is a free soul. Yet, he is very supportive of Alice and wow, I fell for him myself. He is kind, caring, considerate, wise, and romantic. He plays baseball with Alice's brother Will and the two boys are good friends. He helps Alice deal with many things that happen during this first year.
You will meet a great cast of characters -- Alice's good friends, Linda and Becky, her teachers, her aunt's reluctant boyfriend, mothers in the neighborhood, and the town tramp, Paula Elam, who becomes Alice's friend and much, much more. While Paula is the town's bad girl, she and Alice have more in common than they realize and their lives will become intertwined.
This was a great book. From the reviews I have read it seems not to have been read or enjoyed much for the past two to three years. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE -- read this book. It was magnificent!!!!
For anyone who has lost somebody, this book is a must. For me, that first year was tough and I was relieved when it was OVER. It seemed to be a milestone and an accomplishment that I could make it through that first year. To quote from the book -- "Mr. Rhinehart had told me I would be fine after one year. Like something magic was supposed to happen right after that 365th day ended and you were on to the 366th. But it didn't work that way, not for Mrs. Elam, not for Mama, not for me or for anyone."
This book is NOT sad, it is funny, has a great story-line, wonderful characters, and should not be missed.