Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What a little boy can teach the old

From the acclaimed author of When We Were the Kennedys and Any Bitter Thing, the incandescent story of a 104-year-old woman and the sweet, strange young boy assigned to help her around the house—a friendship with unexpected reverberations for the boy's unmoored family.

My thoughts:
This is a perfect book for the middle reader. Miss Ona Vitkus is a 104 year old hermit, but the local boy scout troop sends her boys to help around the house and she usually chases them away until one awkward boy with an obsession for lists, questions and Guiness World Records wedges himself into her life and changes the way she sees herself and her history. But then the boy is gone and his father, Quinn fulfills his sonʻs obligation and a new friendship is formed.

This book is about a boy who is invisible, bullied, misunderstood. It is about a quest. Most importantly it is about the lessons the 11-year old boy is able to teach Miss Ona and his father Quinn about life, and what it means to be truly living. 

The writing style took me a while to get used to, but I like that it does not resort to syrupy sweetness or clean redemption wrapped up in happily ever after. Finally, Wood writes one of the best last chapters I have read in a long time. I am glad that I kept reading because that last chapter was so unexpected and hauntingly divine. 

Advanced copy provided by Net Galley and the publisher for an honest review.

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