Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Without Tess

by:  Marcella Pixley
published by:  Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux
publish date:  October 11, 2011

Tess and Lizzie are sisters, sisters as close as can be, who share a secret world filled with selkies, flying horses, and a girl who can transform into a wolf in the middle of the night. But when Lizzie is ready to grow up, Tess clings to their fantasies. As Tess sinks deeper and deeper into her delusions, she decides that she can’t live in the real world any longer and leaves Lizzie and her family forever. Now, years later, Lizzie is in high school and struggling to understand what happened to her sister. With the help of a school psychologist and Tess’s battered journal, Lizzie searches for a way to finally let Tess go.

When I was at the ALA convention one of the questions that I asked publishers was "What are you pushing that I haven't heard of yet?"  This is one of the books that I got.  The rep told me that initial reports were coming back that this book was too dark and depressing, but they all loved the book.  My first reaction to the book was that it IS a sad book, but it's a really beautiful book too.  It's definitely worth the read.

Both of the characters of Tess and Lizzie are very well written, they were very real.  I felt like their parents were also believable.  I don't know exactly how I, as a parent, would react to everything that had happened to their family, but it all felt lifelike to me. 

Marcella Pixley took a very tragic and emotional story and wrote it in such a graceful and beautiful way that I devoured the book in about a day.  I was reading at the pool with tons of people around me and I was crying all over the place behind my sunglasses.  It's an amazing book, thanks to the people at FSG for letting me know about it!


Linen and Silk said...

It sounds like it's right up my alley. I'll have to keep an eye out for this one! Thanks, Autumn!

Bekka said...

I'm currently reading this one. I'm very near the end-maybe like 30 pages or so. I just know the end is going to be heart wrenching, almost every page is all ready. I definitely agree with your review-especially about the parents' reactions. I'm torn between 'Take that child to hospital!!' and also not knowing how I would act if I were ever caught in a situation like that.

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I don't really do sad very often but I can appreciate a book that doesn't follow the current formulas.