Where things come back: a novel

 

TITLE = WHERE THINGS COME BACK

AUTHOR = JOHN COREY WHALEY

GENRE = FAMILY, GROWING UP, FRIENDSHIP, RELATIONSHIPS

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 10+

This book is so hard to put down – from the very first page, to the final thought-provoking chapter!  It is a story with separate strands which gradually merge into a nail-biting finish.

First there is Cullen Winter’s story. Life for 17 year old Cullen seems ever so boring:  he lives in a boring, small American town, he has a boring part-time job, he only has one friend and the girl of his dreams hardly knows he exists. And at the very start of this novel he has to identify the body of his teenage cousin then watch his Aunt’s life dissolve into despair and anguish. The one bright spark in his life is his younger brother, Gabriel who Cullen adores. Where Cullen is lonely, Gabriel is self-contained. Where Cullen is cynical, Gabriel is optimistic. So when Gabriel goes missing … how will Cullen and his family cope? Especially when the rest of their town seems more interested in possible sightings of a long-lost woodpecker, than sightings of Gabriel.

Meanwhile, across the globe, Benton Sage is struggling to cope as a missionary in Ethiopia. Despite a deep desire to fulfil a religious purpose and an even deeper desire to please his exacting father, Benton returns home a broken young man. Does he have a future? Can his actions ever have an impact on others?

This is a novel about the power of friendship, the importance of family and the significance of second chances. It is beautifully told and despite the apparently grim storyline, there are many moments of humour to brighten the gloom.

Lovers of Catcher in the Rye will enjoy this novel … as will many thoughtful teen readers.

Highly recommended ( Deb Marshall)

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