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What I Came to Tell You av Tommy Hays
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What I Came to Tell You (utgåvan 2014)

av Tommy Hays

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
732280,211 (4.08)Ingen/inga
"A boy finds solace in his art and community after his mother dies and his father retreats into himself"--

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Ingen/inga
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00014432
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
Weavings in the bamboo forest.

This is a coming of age story set in North Carolina, US. It is narrated by twelve year old Grover Johnston, who is grieving the death of his mother in a recent car accident, for which he feels responsible - if he'd collected Fantastic Mister Fox from Videolife, it would never have happened.

Grover was always a bit of a loner, but after his mother's death he has retreated into himself and spends every waking moment in the nearby bamboo forest, where he weaves structures interlaced with twigs and leaves.
At first he made smaller weavings to decorate his mother's grave, but as time passed he found his weavings were becoming larger and larger, actually woven into the forest because they needed the support of living bamboo.
Grover's sister, Sudie, is two years younger and loves to help Grover with his weavings. Their father is coping with his grief by spending more and more time at work and they are left largely to their own devices.

When stakes appear around the bamboo forest, closely followed by sign boards advertising its sale, Grover is devastated that the one place where he can find solace might be taken from him.

While their father's old friend, Jessie, holds things together, with hot pot meals and support, another influence arrives in the shape of a family that moves in over the road. A mother and two children who have lost their father to war, gradually become more and more important in the lives of the Johnston family.

I was disappointed with this novel, the cover art is very dated and the book has a corresponding feel. I would not have been at all surprised if I had been told that this book was written in 1980. The title doesn't really sell itself either, being rather unmemorable. The narrative was very American, with frequent use of the phrase "y'all" and similar Americanisms. I cannot imagine this book appealing to the boys who I look after, maybe it would be better received by girls, even though the main character is a boy.

Many books have been written with children coming to terms with loss and in my opinion this is, sadly, not one of the better ones. ( )
  DubaiReader | Sep 10, 2013 |
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