I’m currently sunning it up (or rather shading it up) on holiday in Crete. It is absolutely beautiful, and I’m thoroughly enjoying lounging about, swimming, eating and reading. Today I finished my first book I received at YALC, Dear Charlie by N.D. Gomes for the 2016 Reading Challenge.
Title: Dear Charlie
Author: N.D. Gomes
Category: #53 An advanced reader copy
“We can’t change the past. We can only learn from it.”
Set in the UK in the 1990s, Dear Charlie is a school shooting story with a difference: set post-event, it follows the younger brother of the shooter, Sam, coming to terms with the actions of his brother. Sam and his parents are cast out of the community, bullied and blamed for Charlie’s operation. The novel follows Sam moving to a new school, navigating the oppression of other students, teachers and psychiatrists, before finally finding himself.
Ultimately, this novel deals with the difficult and important theme of gun violence (which seems to be – sadly – constantly prevalent in the USA) and its effects: death, psychological damage, and the grieving and healing process. It’s an (important) emotional rollercoaster of a read.
This was a very interesting read, and I felt emotionally connected with the main character, Sam. The situation is different from anything I’ve read to date, in terms of focusing on the after effects of the massacre, rather than the plot itself. Unfortunately, the plot is slow moving, since it is completely character driven, but this does allow the reader great insight into Sam’s psyche.
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