DON'T MISS THE MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING SADIE SINK OF STRANGER THINGS!
Dear Zoe is a remarkable study of grief, adolescence, and healing with a pitch-perfect narrator who is at once sharp and naive, world-worried and self-centered, funny and heartbreakingly honest.
Fifteen-year-old Tess DeNunzio hasn't been the same since she lost her sister Zoe to a hit-and-run accident on September 11th—when it seemed like nothing mattered except the tragedies playing out in New York and Washington. Dear Zoe is Tess's letter to her sister, written as a means of figuring out her own life and her place in the world—and the result is a novel of rare power and grace that tells us much about ours.
A 15-year-old girl struggles to cope with private grief in an age of public catastrophe in this awkwardly conceived but sweet, sure-voiced debut. When her little sister, Zoe, dies after being struck by a car on September 11, 2001, savvy, self-aware Tess DeNunzio works through her grief by writing letters to Zoe. Tess's candid observations about her feelings of guilt (she witnessed the accident) and her mourning process give warmth and clarity to her descriptions of daily life in the aftermath. Not sure how to deal with her bereaved mother and uncommunicative stepfather, Tess moves across Pittsburgh to live with her real dad, an underemployed weight lifter with a good heart. Tess's wise-beyond-her-years sensibility can seem contrived ("That's one of the strangest parts of being a stepchild. You actually get to watch your parents fall in love"), and a morality lesson about the virtues of virginity feels tacked on. Most problematically, however, September 11 feels like a giant peg on which a small (but lovely) coat has been hung. Maybe that's the point, but much more moving are Tess's attempts to cope with the conventional aspects of the loss of her sister. (On sale Mar. 28)