Synopses & Reviews
After Liz Scattergood's grandmother, Bunny, dies, Liz's mother spirals into a deep depression. She barely gets out of bed, let alone does any work in her pottery studio like she used to. Then Liz's mom starts attending a spiritualist church, where she believes she can communicate with Bunny through a medium. Liz thinks it's weird, but she agrees to go along -- maybe it's a way for her and her mother to bond. But for Liz's atheist dad, the spiritualist church has the opposite effect -- it drives him away from her mom and their family.
Without anyone to talk to, Liz turns to her new neighbor, Nathan. He's dealing with his own mother's terminal cancer, and together, Liz and Nathan help each other cope in the wake of loss. In this moving novel, acclaimed author Ellen Wittlinger explores how a loved one's death impacts those who are left behind.
"Wittlinger's (Sandpiper) heartfelt novel shows how loss can tear families apart and sometimes bring strangers together. Fifteen-year-old Liz Scattergood is still reeling from the death of her vivacious grandmother, Bunny, when she meets Nathan, a new neighbor whose mother is dying of leukemia. The two teens find in each other the kind of comfort and support that is absent from their respective households. Liz helps ease Nathan's difficult transition moving in with his cantankerous grandmother, and urges him to open up to his younger sister, who doesn't know that their mother's illness is terminal. In turn, Nathan provides consolation when Liz finds herself caught between feuding parents: her father, who has given up on religion altogether and her self-absorbed mother, who has recently joined a spiritualist church, hoping to find a way to communicate with Bunny. Told from Liz's point of view, the novel tenderly explores how grief affects individuals differently as it surfaces in angry outbursts, feelings of loneliness, desperate attempts to regain what has been lost and moments of introspection. As Liz works through her own emotional turmoil, she learns to recognize, tolerate and respond to others' pain. Ages 12-up. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
After Lizs grandma Bunny dies, Lizs mother falls into a deep depression. The only thing that cheers her is going to a special spiritualist church where she thinks she can communicate with Bunny from the grave. In this poignant novel, Wittlinger explores questions of belief and spirituality.
About the Author
Ellen Wittlinger is the critically acclaimed author of the teen novels Love & Lies: Marisol's Story, Parrotfish, Blind Faith, Sandpiper, Heart on My Sleeve, Zigzag, and Hard Love (an American Library Association Michael L. Printz Honor Book and a Lambda Literary Award winner), and the middle-grade novel Gracie's Girl. She has a bachelor's degree from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. A former children's librarian, she lives with her husband in Haydenville, Massachusetts.