Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Teen Novel

Finished February 27
The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer, read by Robertson Dean
A companion novel to Life as We Knew It, this novel takes place over the same time period only in a different place, New York City. Here we have 17-year-old Alex Morales, dealing with the chaos unleashed by the asteroid hitting the moon offcourse. Alex lives with his parents and two sisters in an apartment in upper Manhattan. His father is in Puerto Rico for his grandmother's funeral and Alex has no idea whether he has survived. His mother works at a hospital in Queen's and was called in to work after the event, but hasn't been heard from since. Alex doesn't know for sure what happened to her, but is worried that she may have been drowned in the subway. His older brother Carlos is a marine, stationed in California and manages to communicate to the family that he has been mobilized. Alex is left alone with his two younger sisters, Brianna and Julie. They do have some things going for them. They are strong Catholics, with all three going to Catholic schools and involved in their local church, which offers some respite. They also have an uncle who owns a bodega and get some food initially from him. Since Alex's father is the apartment building manager, they also have limited access to some of the other apartments in their building.
As Alex struggles to take charge of his family and do what is necessary for their survival, he also struggles with his faith and how that impacts on the things he needs to do. This is a story of desperation and hope, of community and change. Alex is challenged, but finds the courage and support to deal with those challenges.

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