This novel opens up with a quote from Death Cab for Cutie: Love is watching someone die. But while you should probably prepare yourself for a tearjerker, there are also a number of layers to this story that might surprise you.
Taylor Edwards and her family used to always spend summers at the lake in Pennsylvania, at least until after the summer she was twelve. The summer of the botched romance, the fallout with her best friend, and the inability to confront any of her fears. But this year, they are going back to spend one last season all together at their summerhouse. With the news of late stage cancer, this will likely be her dad's last summer ever.
There are certainly a lot of "issues" packed into this thick novel, but the story manages to be touching and frustrating at all the right times, and even if it doesn't resonate with every reader, there is value in the message that lives are meant to be lived, not avoided. Morgan Matson also wrote the beloved Amy & Roger's Epic Detour.
Reviewed by kate the librarian.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
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