Wednesday, October 17, 2012

See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles

See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles packs an emotional punch.

Twelve-year-old Fern loves her family, but sometimes she is also embarrassed by them -- pretty standard feelings for any twelve-year-old, really. She sometimes feels resentful of her siblings, particularly her younger brother Charlie, who came along as a "surprise" three years ago, and now seems to soak up most of her parents' attention. Fern adores her fourteen-year-old brother Holden, but Holden is going through his own difficult times, and there are some things that Fern can't help with. Oldest sister Sara is taking a year off between high school and college, working at the family's diner and getting into some trouble of her own. Is it any wonder that Fern feels invisible at times?

When the unthinkable happens, Fern and her family must each deal with grief, guilt, and loss. Will tragedy pull Fern's family apart?

This is definitely a tearjerker of a book. I knew from the start that there would be tragedy, but expected it to come from a different direction. Knowles does a great job in this book of showing the emotions, not just of Fern, but of all of the characters. For those of us who are thinking about the upcoming awards season, this is certainly one to keep an eye on. It's not my favorite of the year so far, but it's definitely a strong contender.

(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)

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