Saturday, October 4, 2014

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

Several years ago I read The Mockingbirds and The Rivals by Daisy Whitney and really loved them, so I was excited when I read about her newest book When You Were Here. When You Were Here is about a young man who has just lost his mother to cancer. Danny's mother has always promised that she was hanging on for his high school graduation, but when she dies just two months before this important date, Danny spins out of control. He feels that his life is without purpose and direction. When his high school sweetheart (who is also his mother's best friends daughter) comes home from college, Danny is drawn to her, but at the same time is very afraid she too will leave him again. Danny has some big decisions to be made- about the homes his mother owns, what to do with his time and his future. When Danny decides to return to Tokyo- a city that brings back wonderful memories of his mother, he finds clues to his mothers last days, and clues to how he can start carrying on after his loss. This book was difficult to read at times. I can't imagine how Danny must feel after the death of his mother. Many of his reactions seem completely normal and understandable, yet they are also very dangerous. As Danny learns more about how his mother chose to live out her last days, he also starts to find a strength to carry on. But reading this journey was very difficult as well. There were also some mature parts in here that means I won't have this in my grade 7 classroom- but for high school students, I would strongly suggest reading this book.

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