Yesterday’s post was about a girl who lost her entire family. Today we have a book about a family that loses a child. Ethan was nine years old when he was taken from his front yard. His younger brother was the only witness. Now, eight years later, Ethan has returned home. Each member of his family, which now includes a six-year-old sister, reacts in different ways. His parents are so happy to have him home, but his brother is angry, confused, and unwelcoming. His sister, too young to know the whole story of his abduction, adapts to him quickly and is much like he was at her age.
Ethan’s homecoming is far from idyllic, however. He is having trouble coping with his new life, which is very different than the one he has known. He has virtually no memory of his life with his actual family, remembering only the life he led with Ellen, the woman who took him. After living with her for many years, she abandoned him at a group home, from which he eventually ran away. He lived on the street for a year after that, before finding his family on a website for missing children. What starts as a happy reunion soon shows the strain of Ethan’s efforts to regain his memories, his reintroduction to friends and family, enrolling in school, and heated therapy sessions.
Ms. McMann’s story is dramatic and well-told, but should probably be avoided by readers with children. What is an “angst-y” young adult drama for high school teens would be a horror story for them.
Check the WRL catalog for Dead to You