Friday, June 5, 2009

A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell

This is the first book I have read by Sandell, but it won't be the last. This was a beautiful, sad, hopeful, touching book. I cried and laughed as I read it late into the night. The story is told through Cora, a young girl who at the start of the novel is just starting high school. But she is also dealing with the death of her brother just a few months ago. Nate was 4 years older than Cora and when they were young, Cora looked up to him as her hero. In the last few years though, they had a typical older brother- younger sister relationship- lots of fighting and silence. Now Cora needs to go to the same high school where Nate's reputation for being the rebellion makes it hard for Cora to be her own person.

Cora's parents have also changed since Nate's death. Her father retreats into silence and anger and her mother has become so over protective of Cora that she can hardly move without her mother being aware of it.

To top it all off, Cora starts to develop feelings for Damian- her brother's best friend, and the boy who Cora's parents blame for his death. As Cora tries to sort out her feelings for Damian, she must also fight to live her own life even when her parents want to keep her safe and protected.

This is an amazing book that looks at what happens to the people left behind when someone dies.

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