In spare, lyrical verse, this powerful novel tells a beautiful and heartbreaking story of love and loss. It perfectly captures the intense and excruciating pain of the loss of a loved one, and the slow but gradual hope of living again and finding one's way back home.
Written in simple prose, Ellen Yeomans novel is one of the most poetic I've read in awhile. Grouping the poems in sections named after parts of a baseball season ("Warm Ups", "Spring Training"), her writing had a way of seeping into my thoughts. One of the poems that particularly affected me was "Children's Hospital":
A giant giraffe
of plastic or papier-mâché
looming in the lobby.
A wall of fish
swimming beside the gift shop.
Brightly colored walls,
and paw-print confetti carpeting.
A bright, welcoming place for children.
But in the mural beside the elevator
in tall teal and lime grass,
I spy a crouching lion.
I've been to the Boston Children's Hospital before, but never noticed this detail.
I enjoyed Kit’s process of rebirth. A fit of productivity leads her to a local hardware store, which leads her to a job. The only way that she can cope with her brother’s death is to relieve the self-imposed pressure she’s felt for her entire life, take on a new name, and become useful. The book does not have a simple happy ending, and it shouldn't when a brother dies. Yeomans handles a difficult subject artfully, getting each step of the process right.