What Hearts; The Moves Make the Man) takes an original approach to a traditionally macabre motif in this trilogy of sto"/>
 

ALL THAT REMAINS

Bruce Brooks, Author
Bruce Brooks, Author ALL THAT REMAINSBruce Brooks< $16 (176p) ISBN 978-0-689-83351-9
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-0-689-83442-4
Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-4391-1663-0
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Brooks (What Hearts; The Moves Make the Man) takes an original approach to a traditionally macabre motif in this trilogy of stories. In all three selections, teens contend with the "remains" of a recently deceased loved one. The author opens with a black comedy: Aunt Judith has died of AIDS (the result of a one-night stand with a man), and her lesbian lover plus cousins Marie and Jonny, the narrator, must decide what to do with her body. The state wants her buried in a "special graveyard for the 'unclean.' " However, determined to grant Judith's request for cremation, the three take matters into their own hands and, simultaneously, trick the authorities. In the final selection, also told with a light touch, Isabel isn't quite ready to part with her late father. She carries his ashes in a backpack until she meets three young men on a golf course who help her find the right time and place to let go of the past. In the most serious of the three, and perhaps the most well crafted, Hank has an altogether different problem to solve. He struggles to fulfill the promise he made to his dying uncle to look after his nerdy cousin (who Hank suspects is gay). The boys seem to have nothing in common at first, but Hank's perspective changes as Bobby's hidden talents begin to emerge. Although all of the tales center around a death, they are surprisingly life-affirming as they reveal the many faces of grief. The author's three distinct mood pieces join to create a unified requiem. Ages 12-up. (May)

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