Saturday, November 5, 2011

Without Tess

Marcella Pixley is an amazing author. I will recommend Freak to kids for years to come.

Her new book, Without Tess, did not disappoint. Wow.

The entire book reads with a whimsical, almost dreamlike, childhood quality and the poetry sprinkled between the chapters cut right to the bone.

Lizzie is struggling with the death of her sister, Tess. She blames herself for her sister's death... but it's so much more than that. Tess struggled with mental illness masked by fantastical play and a magical connection with her devoted sister. How could her immortal, magical sister perish and leave her behind? It's all too much to take.

The story is told in short chapters going back and forth between memories of the past, therapy sessions and poetry from both girls.

I was pleased to see not only the frailty and flaws, but also the power and strength of the adults in Lizzie's life. This is a quick and satisfying read and will leave you with tears in your eyes.

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