Synopses & Reviews
Starting a new life after the death of her mother, Nora learns how to be strong.
Are there wounds too deep to heal, pains too sharp to share? And if a family survives by cutting the ties that bind them, can they ever be whole again?
After losing her mother to illness and her father to his work, Nora Mackenzie must leave her home in the interior of B.C. for a North Vancouver school. Estranged from her classmates, her family, and the life she's lost, Nora walls herself off from the people around her. At the same time, her young cousin Lizzie is facing an uncertain future as one of the first children to undergo open-heart surgery. As the operation approaches, Nora discovers that she is not the only person in her family isolated by fear and grief.
One intriguing element of the novel is found in the details of life in 1960 that the author has worked hard to include. Canadian Materials Magazine
Charles has captured the inner reality of an indomitable heroine, and Nora's unquenchable curiosity and sensitivity to other people are a tribute to human resilience. Quill - & - Quire
The interesting setting might help readers look past Nora's initial prickliness and root for her as she finds her place in a new home. School Library Journal
It's 1960 in North Vancouver and twelve-year-old Nora feels as sad and soggy as the weather. She's moved to a new city, her mother has just died, and no one likes her at the new school. When her cousin Lizzie is about to have risky open-heart surgery, she begins to reach out, forcing those around her to deal with their own struggles.
When 12-year-old Nora learns that her favourite cousin, Lizzie, is about to have risky open-heart surgery, she wonders if her family will ever feel whole again, and if she can find the courage to mend her own broken heart.
About the Author
Rie Charles was a social worker who worked with families in the various crises of their lives. She translates this fascination with people's narratives into books for young people. She has one previous YA novel, No More Dragons. Rie lives in British Columbia.