Monday, July 21, 2014
Dear Zoe by Philip Beard
Here's a book often overlooked at our library that deserves to be read. When Tess's three-year-old half-sister dies tragically the teenager and her mother become deeply depressed from grief. Tess carries a burden of guilt as the result of the accident. Additionally, she already feels out of place in her mother's new family made of Dave, Em and Zoe and her mother. The tragedy makes her feel even more out of place. Tess goes to live with her unreliable father to escape the grief and depression of her family. While there, she tries to write a letter to Zoe explaining her grief, her guilt so she can move on finally. This novel alternates between the present where Tess gets to know and love a neighbor of her father's and her letter to Zoe where the whole story of the tragedy is told. It is a bitter sweet story that may make the reader teary eyed. She comes to a new understanding of her father and of the tragedy. She is able to share with her mother thus helping her as well. In the end, Tess returns to her home with her mother but maintains her relationship with her father and her new boyfriend. Everyone continues to heal and begins to move on with their lives, even Em who was pretty left out of every one's grieving lives even though this six-year-old was grieving too.