We Now Return to Regular Life

Martin Wilson. Dial, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7352-2782-8
When Sam was 11—just a bratty younger brother, as far as his sister, Beth, was concerned—he was abducted. Now, three years later, he’s been found. Beth shares narrating duties with Sam’s old neighbor Josh, which makes for a rounded view of both the disappearance and life afterward. Now 17, Beth is used to a mother who’s only half there, and she’s made new friends who never knew Sam. Josh, now a high school freshman, still has a secret, but he’s no longer the loser he felt like back when Sam was taken. Wilson (What They Always Tell Us) effectively shows how complex it can be to adjust to change, even when it’s positive. Beth is suddenly interesting to people she doesn’t know, her long-absent father reappears, her mother goes into maternal overdrive, and no one knows what to say to Sam. Josh doesn’t either, but he wants to be Sam’s friend, even though his other friends don’t understand why. Though the book starts slowly, once the characters are established, it offers a moving and believable depiction of a damaged survivor and what his return means to those around him. Ages 14–up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/05/2017
Release date: 08/01/2017
Genre: Children's
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