cover image Waiting


Carol Lynch Williams. S&S/Wiseman, $16.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4424-4353-2

First-person stanzas convey the emotions and memories of high school student London as she grieves over the suicide of her older brother, Zach. Initially, London is overwhelmed by loneliness and the quietness that permeates her house. Her father, a missionary, has barely spoken to her since the tragedy, and her mother’s silence, laced with hostility, is even more painful. (“When I step in the house, I feel the emptiness, feel me/ the only person breathing in here./ For a moment I think of my mother being here every day/ by herself/ thinking of her dead son and the daughter she hates”). The cause of her mother’s resentment and the circumstances of Zach’s death gradually unfold as London reaches outside her family, welcoming the support of her ex-boyfriend, Taylor, and two newcomers who know little of London’s past. Exposing the heartbreak of a broken family, the complexities of denial, and the healing power of friendship, Lynch’s (Miles from Ordinary) writing is characteristically gritty but also inspirational as London challenges her mother’s misplaced anger and creates her own route to recovery. Ages 14–up. Agent: Stephen Fraser, Jennifer DiChiara Literary Agency. (May)