professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Blind Faith

So, I decided not to wait until tomorrow to pick up the new Ellen Wittlinger book and read at the airport. I took a few hours this afternoon and treated myself to this gem of a book that sucks you into the story and holds you captive until the end. After her beloved grandmother Bunny dies, Liz's world spins out of control. Her mother is too distraught to even come to the dinner table. Liz's father seems unable to provide comfort for either Liz or her mother. Even her best friend is consumed more with her boyfriend than with Liz's changing world.

At first blush, this book would seem to be one that deals with one family's struggle with the loss of a loved one. However, Wittlinger has other plans for the reader who is thrown into Liz's world headlong. It is not a dizzying ride. Instead, like real life, it moves slowly forward. Some healing takes place, but there are setbacks still. Grief, like life, is not something that one can wrap up into a paragraph or a chapter. It ebbs and flows, tide-like.

How perfectly Wittlinger has captured the aftermath of loss. Grief is such a difficult thing/concept for someone whose life has not been touched by tremendous loss. However, young people who have experienced deep loss will be comforted to see Liz's progression, to see how her entire family handles loss by dealing with other parts of life instead of meeting the grief head on.

And, of course, it is not just Liz and her family who are center stage in this book. Watching how others cope with their own losses is also part of the core of this heartfelt novel. It never slides into sentimentality or tries to tie all the loose ends up with ribbon. No, it is messy and unresolved: just like real life. BLIND FAITH will give readers much to talk about.

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