Twelve-year-old Fern just can’t catch a break.
In a boisterous family of five, she feels invisible. Her father is busy promoting his restaurant, Harry’s, and her mother is busy meditating privately. Her older sister Sara is busy working at the restaurant, aka making out with Gil, and her older brother Holden is busy coming to terms with his sexuality. So pesky little brother Charlie, just three years old, is the only one not too busy for Fern.
And then everything changes. When tragedy strikes, blame is doled out and, while everyone tells her she’s not, Fern can’t help but feel responsible for the accident. Faced with a quickly shifting family dynamic, Fern desperately wants to be seen, supported, hugged by the loved ones who so easily overlooked her.
Jo Knowles’ novel investigates the effects of a disaster on the individuals within a family. As readers, we watch the fabric of a family ripped apart at the seams, unable to accept an impossibly sad truth. Each character must learn to move forward in his/her own way. And, through Fern, we witness the wonderful resilience of children.
While the subject matter is heartbreaking, I didn’t have much of an emotional response with this one. I’d give it 2.5 stars if I could, but since it’s not terribly written, I’ll round up.
Could be better, could be worse.
Book: See You At Harry’s
Author: Jo Knowles
Type: Neglected middle child sits at the center of a family faced with tragedy.
Questions about what 3/5 star rating means? Refer to the Book Talk Review Guide here.