Saturday, May 1, 2010

Love, Loss, and a good book

I was lucky to meet Ellen Yeomans at a party for our mutual (and wonderful) friend Suzanne last weekend, and was embarrassed that I wasn't familiar with her debut YA novel Rubber Houses--an ALAN pick, no less! So Monday, I asked the school librarian to track down a copy for me. Of course, I was distracted with my own family research, so I saved it until last night. That was a bad choice; I couldn't put it down. 

Allow me to digress for a moment. One year ago this week--last April 27, to be exact--our beautiful, strong, smart, amazing friend and neighbor Brandi was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that attacks the lining of heart and lungs. It is known to be caused by asbestos exposure, and takes 20-30 years from the time of exposure to be diagnosed. Brandi was 23 when she was diagnosed. We surrounded her with love and support and prayers and all the best wishes...but on September 24, Brandi died at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston.I miss her everyday.

Now back to the book...I probably should have read the inside flap before I started reading. When Kit's little brother, Buddy, is diagnosed with cancer, I knew I was in trouble. I made it to page 59 before the tears began to flow. As Kit describes the drive to Boston, I sobbed. Oh, it was such a book. I won't give too much away, I hope, when I say that the end of the book was redemptive, and although it was hard to stop the tears, it was made easier by the hopefulness I felt that Kit was going to be OK. 

The review on TeenReads says, "The novel, told in free verse, sings with honesty and pain." Yes.

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