Monday 25 March 2013

Dear Zoe by Philip Beard

From Goodreads:  Philip Beard’s stunning debut novel is fifteen-year-old Tess DeNunzio’s letter to her sister, Zoe, lost to a hit-and-run driver on a day when it seemed that nothing mattered but the tragedies playing out in New York and Washington. Dear Zoe is a remarkable study of grief, adolescence, and healing with a pitch-perfect narrator who is at once sharp and naïve, world- worried and self-centered, funny and heartbreakingly honest. Tess begins her letter to Zoe as a means of figuring out her own life, her place in the world, but the result is a novel of rare power and grace that tells us much about ours.

There are some books you just fall in love with and can’t quite put your finger on why. This is definitely one of those books. I actually read it in 2011 and haven’t written the review until now – I just wasn’t convinced I could do the book the justice it deserves.

The story is written by Tess, as a letter to her sister Zoe, who is killed in a hit and run. It looks at her struggle to deal with the events of that day and is absolutely stunning. Philip Beard does an amazing job of getting into the head of a grieving 15 year old girl, and creates some wonderful characters for her to interact with.

I loved her mother and step-father and completely understood why Tess feels the way she does – especially her decision to go and stay with her father. I also adored her father – someone who, in theory, might not have been the person you rated all that highly – but in actuality is the best person to help Tess. The same with Jimmy - who she develops a relationship with – he treats her with so much care and respect and is exactly what she needs to get herself back to the place she need to be.

The author also does a brilliant job of bringing Zoe to the forefront of the story – making her as real to the reader as she is to Tess and her family. It creates a raw and completely heartfelt story you can't help but be affected by.

Absolutely brilliant!


Archaznable said...

another awesome and brilliant book reviews

Michelle Fluttering Butterflies said...

I was going to write that I hadn't heard anything about this book before and it sounded really interesting .. and with further thought I remembered that that was what I thought the last time I heard about this book. Doh!


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