Walking Backward is an extremely sad novel, and while I usually never cry during books, this one caused me to fetch the box of tissues. The author does a fantastic job with developing her characters; the voice of young Josh is dark, doleful, and realistic for a twelve year old boy; his little brother Sammy is every bit as crazy and innocent as a four-year-old can be; his reclusive, slightly apathetic dad is beautifully written. Josh's voice tells of his family members' different ways of mourning the loss of a loved one. Sammy is confused and traumatized, seeking comfort in his Power Ranger, which he pretends to be his mother. His dad holes himself up in the basement all day, working on a time machine to bring his wife back. Every page of this short novel contains Josh's interesting musings about death, loss, and life in general. Direct and to the point, Josh virtually covers all the dark and happy thoughts of a boy recovering from loss.
Overall, this quiet read provokes thoughts about the way to mourn loss, move on, and begin to live life again. This book does not contain much of a plot, but it is driven on by the inner journey of Josh and his family. Despite its lack of action, I recommend this touching novel that will entice tears out of everybody's eyes.