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Reclaiming the Sand Paperback – March 17, 2014
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Well, I can say that I'm writing this one for me. Sorry A. Meredith Walters, but I'm going to be a little selfish with this one.
Almost four years ago, I had my first child. A beautiful, chubby, blue-eyed joy that I couldn't wait to teach. I was a new mother; overwhelmed, overjoyed with the new adventure of raising a child and showing him how to be a man. But by the time he hit 18 months, it was obvious he wasn't like other kids. He couldn't stack blocks, he wasn't speaking, and he couldn't find the motor skills to hold a fork. Two months later, the school district slapped an autism diagnosis on him, and I froze.
I don't think it's easy for any mother to send their child off to school that first day, all alone on a big bus, with strangers all around them. But I can't even express to you how terrifying it was for me to do this, even before he hit 24 months; handing him over to smiling strangers reassuring me he was in good hands. He was still my beautiful baby boy, and I didn't care that he was 'different.' But it wasn't about me, it was about my son.
Junior will be 4 in June, and just now is he starting to pair two words together. When I read the first Flynn chapters, I almost vomited for how much I cried. This author gave my son a voice; one I've never heard, one I might never hear. And I can't tell you how monumentally grateful I am for that. And even though the book opened my eyes to the fact that people are going to hate my son, call him a 'freak,' or bully him to the point of physical harm (because people can suck), it was still a harsh reality that I hadn't considered, but should've.
This book spoke directly to me.
So while I could sit here and tell you that the writing was flawless, the flow natural, the story supreme, and even the secondary characters were written in such detail that they popped out from the pages, I'm not going to deny the fact that those weren't the things that stood out for me. A. Meredith Walters is a New York Times bestseller for a reason - she doesn't mess around. She's not the kind of author that slaps a diagnosis on her characters without putting the research and dedication behind it. You do the math - the book is superb. No. For me, Reclaiming the Sand has blown a hole through my chest and grabbed hold of my beating heart and will stay there forever. Flynn and Ellie won my heart, but better yet, I'm walking away with a better grip on my reality and a stronger mother for my boy.
It has also given me hope.
Thank you for writing this book.
This well written beautiful book about the unconventional relationship between Ellie and Flynn had me both crying and smiling often. Ellie, the bully, and Flynn, the sensitive boy no one bothered to understand. They start a secret friendship in high school that can only be described as difficult. Yet after some tragic events that led them to not seeing each other for 6 years, that secret friendship begins again and this time around difficult probably would've been considered easy.
Flynn is a sweet, gentle, yet determined man. He has Asperger's syndrome, so therefore he is blunt and doesn't always get when someone is teasing him. And Ellie, who had teased him cruelly in high school, is the one who can get through to him. She loves his blunt nature and his gift for seeing the world as a much better place than she could ever imagine.
Ellie's life has never been easy but with Flynn, things seem possible. When they reconnect all these years later, it is Flynn who lets her see that she can have more that she thought she deserved.
Their love for each other is not measured by words but by actions. Flynn will only let Ellie touch him and when they do, it's like magic for both of them.
I cannot even fully convey how I feel after reading this book. It made me laugh, smile and cry more times than I can count. It was just so wonderful to read about people with true feelings. A. Meredith Walters created characters that are real. Flynn and Ellie are real. People who just want to bring out the best in each other and maybe don't always know how or even how to say it.
I highly recommend this book. It is one that will stay with me for a long time to come. I am hopeful we will hear more from this crew because even though they have already said so much, I think they might have more to share in the future.
A huge 5+++ stars. Yeah, it's that good.
Reclaiming the Sand was wonderful! It exceeded my expectations.
"Freaky" Flynn is broken. Brutally honest. And perfectly simple. Everything is black and white for him, so he says what he means and means what he says.
Ellie is broken. She's a bully. She expects nothing more for her life than what's already there. Her friends are a mess, perhaps even more so than her.
Despite their brokenness, his by no fault of his own, and hers by circumstance, they understand each other. They were friends once, even if it was only when it was convenient.
My heart ached for them. I loved them both and wanted them to heal. Not even heal each other, but just heal the hurt in their lives. I wanted to understand them, and by the unfolding of their story, I did. I stayed up until almost 5 this morning, finishing this wonderful, beautiful, ugly, amazing, breathtaking, poignant story...and I want more. I want to read it again. I want to smile at the awkwardness and I want to cry for them. I'm so amazed by the story, I could go on, but I don't want to ruin it for anyone else.
Most recent customer reviews
Supporting characters: Dania, Shane, Stu, and Reggie
Story was told in alternating POV's between both Flynn and Ellie.Read more
Sigh. Saying that I loved this book is an understatement. It's raw and emotional and dirty and wrong and perfect and so many other adjectives and verbs I...Read more
I had to force myself to keep continuing. I had been hoping it would get better, my emotions would be drawn in.Read more