Friday, June 26, 2009

Me, The Missing, and the Dead by Jenny Valentine - Review

What would you think if you went into a cab office one morning because you found money in your coat pocket (well, your sister's coat) so didn't have to walk home, and found yourself inexplicably drawn to an urn on one of their shelves? And if you then heard a voice talking to you - the voice of the woman (Violet) whose ashes now live in that urn - would you be able to walk away or would you have to find out who she was and why she's decided to talk to you?

Lucas is an ordinary sixteen year old, well as ordinary as any teenager whose father simply disappeared five years ago with no explanation, no note, nothing. They don't know is he's dead or alive. His grandfather has dementia, his sister is never home, and his grandmother is the only one who will talk about his missing dad

It's a very unusual story, not anything like I expected it to be. Violet helps Lucas find out more about his father and ultimately come to terms with the fact that he was far from the ideal he's assumed he was (wanted him to be). Finally he feels able to let go. But it's Lucas's voice that stands out - real, sympathetic, and funny - in this rather charming coming of age story.

Me, the Missing, and the Dead, won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in the UK under the title Finding Violet Park. Interesting that they changed the name for the US market - no?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

not what i expected - interesting