Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Hayley's father is a veteran struggling with PTSD.  They have been on the road for years trying to find a place or job where Andy can settle and feel safe.  Now they are back in his hometown but Andy seems to be doing poorly - not working, spending all his time in his room.  Hayley, meanwhile, is trying to put together some sort of normal life when she meets Finn who obviously likes her.  Hayley doesn't want to tell Finn about her father and Finn is keeping a few secrets of his own.  Just when Hayley feels like things can't get worse, her former stepmother comes back into their lives making Hayley wonder if her father will finally be pushed over the brink.  This is a powerful, but sad book.  Sometimes I love a good sad story but very little felt hopeful to me in this one and I had a hard time identifying with Hayley even though I'm sure she is very realistic.