When You Were Here

Daisy Whitney, Author
Daisy Whitney. Little, Brown, $18 (272p) ISBN 978-0-316-20974-8
Reviewed on: 05/06/2013
Release date: 06/04/2013
Hardcover - 127 pages - 978-0-316-24644-6
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-316-20973-1
Open Ebook - 152 pages - 978-1-306-76444-5
Paperback - 261 pages - 978-0-316-20975-5
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Whitney’s (The Rivals) evocative novel about living life to the fullest traces the journey of high-school valedictorian Danny Kellerman as he tries to find answers about his mother’s final months before succumbing to cancer. His quest takes him away from his Los Angeles home, where he is tormented by both his mother’s death and his breakup with Holland, the former girlfriend who left “without a reason, with barely a call.” Wanting to soothe his wounded heart and hoping to discover “the secret to how she was the most joyful person when she was dying,” Danny travels to the family’s second residence in Tokyo, where his mother received alternative treatments. Guided by the apartment caretaker’s flamboyant teenage daughter, he visits his mother’s favorite haunts, meets the people she knew (including the doctor who also served as a spiritual guide), and makes a shocking discovery about Holland. Set against the colorful backdrop of Tokyo’s bustling streets, teahouses, and markets, this intricate story vibrantly depicts the stages of Danny’s enlightenment and celebrates his mother’s sanguine attitude toward life, love, and death. Ages 12–up. Agent: Michelle Wolfson, Wolfson Literary Agency. (June)
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