November 20, 2011

Grounded - by Kate Klise

Daralynn's life is hard.  Her father and siblings have just died in a terrible accident, and her mother refuses to shed a single tear.  Her aunt has fallen in love with a strange man who has shown up with promises to bring their sleepy midwestern town into the future, and her uncle seems to have a secret of his own.  To top things off, Daralynn's grandmother seems to be losing her wits, and is becoming obsessed with a collection of family dolls, which she treats like real babies.  In order to make sense of the world, Daralynn must find the courage to point out the truth to those who want to avoid it at all costs.

The coolest part of this book:  Living Funerals.  A brilliant idea, and an unforgettable part of the story.

This book reminded me a lot of Pie, by Sarah Weeks, but it didn't make me as hungry.  It's a sweet and smart story, and is much more interesting and happy than my first paragraph may suggest.  Of course, Kate Klise is a masterful writer, and one of my favorites.  I prefer her collaborations with her sister (43 Old Cemetery Road, Trial by Jury, etc.), but her solo works are still great.  If you want to find joy in the midst of sorrow, and find hope in a story of a mixed-up family, this is your book.

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