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Every Visible Thing

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  486 ratings  ·  69 reviews
When unthinkable tragedy strikes, at what point must a family turn away from the past and move forward into the future? The extraordinary new novel from the critically acclaimed author of Love in the Asylum and The Mermaids Singing is a darkly absorbing, deeply realistic portrait of adolescence, family, and grief.

The Fureys are a family divided in time. Five years ago, the
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 8th 2006 by William Morrow (first published July 27th 2006)
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A.M. Canja
"Thats an emo book, thats for you." My friend raised his brows when I handed him this book. He is indeed right, the book is emotionally compelling. Rarely do I ignore a books title, I read the summary at the back first, this book is one of the few incidents.

What I like about this book the most is it is mainly centered on teen angst with loss, grief, denial revolving around it making an emotionally chaotic plot. Speaking of the plot, it is simple, teenage siblings facing adolescence and trying to
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Kerry
As a huge fan of Lisa Carey’s books, I was looking forward to reading Every Visible Thing. I was really hoping for something in the same vein as the other Carey books I have read, The Mermaid’s Singing and In the Country of the Young… well developed characters, a thread of mythology that ran through the story – supporting and enhancing the more realistic plotline, and a flavoring of Irish or Irish immigrant culture.

But Every Visible Thing felt a little lacking in comparison. The story, about a
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Letitia
Sep 26, 2007 Letitia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like Alice Hoffman
This book is beautifully written and so easy to read that it was hard to put down. I was so affected by this family, and it really drove home how often we don't say what we really mean to the people we love, either because we don't want to hurt them, or because we do, or because we can't. It made me want to believe in Angels.
Trish
This book is not for anyone who is easily offended. It involves a family in which the oldest brother goes missing. The parents fall apart and basically leave the 2 remainng children to fend for themselves (an older girl and a younger boy). The brother is gone so long that he is basically presumed dead, but no one in the family will talk about it. The kids have questions and no one to turn to. The sister finds rolls of the brother's film and enrolls in a photography class. She follows a trail of ...more
Mary  (Biblophile)
A melodramatic coming of age tale that I didn't find all that interesting. Shades of drug use, homosexuality, and suicide all add to the melodrama. Two teenagers follow paths of self destruction after the disappearance of their older brother and the parents are too overly involved to notice.
Jen
This book was very interesting to read. Told by 2 siblings a brother and a sister years apart but both fucked up because their older brother Hugh went missing and his body was never found. The family who once was happy and cared and was loving now are ghosts with shells. They work but pay no attention to their teenage daughter going thru a crisis bc her hero in her life is missing. LENA wants to find him and goes on this drop out, drug, drnking, smoking, boy look like, jounrney to find him. She ...more
Victoria
I normally find things that become important or special by accident, this book was one of them. I was strolling along the library looking through movies when I saw this book next to the movie I wanted at the end of the shelf. When I looked at the back and saw that the author, Lisa Carey, also wrote a book called "The Mermaids Singing" I thought of putting the book back down right then and there but there was just something about it that made me want to at least give it a chance and maybe it woul ...more
Emily
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Louise
I just loved this book and couldn’t put it down even after trying several times to make tea in between chapters, BUT...the story won out every time!

Five years ago the Furey’s eldest son, Hugh, disappeared without a trace. His parents are naturally grief stricken and trying hard to put this senseless tragedy behind them. Hugh’s mother has an emotional breakdown and hunkers down in her bed rarely getting up. This leaves Hugh’s father to care for their two youngest children, Owen 10 and Lena 15 but
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Bookmagic
This was a very dark and dismal novel which I found in the bargain book section at B&N. The story is told from two characters, Lena and Owen, alternating chapters. Lena is obsessed with finding her brother or at least finding out who he was. She finds his old camera and lots of undeveloped film. She takes a photography class to learn to develop it herself. As she sees the places and people that Hugh shot, she seeks them out looking for answers. This leads her down a dangerous trail as she sk ...more
Victoria
Carey writes beautifully - it had been a few years since I had last picked up one her novels, but a few pages into this one, it struck me again what a gift she has. I really enjoyed reading this book. It initially took me a little bit to get into it, though that may be more to do with the last few books that I’ve read than anything else (they were all rather humourous essays, rather than an actual novels)! Once the plot unfolded, it became a very sad but engrossing story. Despite its rather depr ...more
Laura Buechler
Quote to keep:

"Everything is the same. Each thing he sees makes him remember it, as though these objects and smells have been there all along, locked in a cubby of his brain, and now that they're out he can't imagine not remembering them. It scares him, the fact that things can hide in your own mind. Fool you into believing you don't remember them, then reappear and pretend they've been right in front of you all along."

(I know that feeling and understand JUST what the writer means!)

This book is
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Alicia
Every Visible Thing is a heartbreaking novel about the loss of a child and how that affects the rest of the family.

Alternating between the two siblings, Lena and Owen tell the story of their family's struggle to deal with the loss of the oldest child, Hugh, missing and presumed dead. The inability of the parents to deal with the loss of Hugh allows the two remaining children to slip further and further into trouble. As they struggle to deal with this loss in addition to the normal problems of c
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Alicia
Every Visible Thing is a heartbreaking novel about the loss of a child and how that affects the rest of the family.

Alternating between the two siblings, Lena and Owen tell the story of their family's struggle to deal with the loss of the oldest child, Hugh, missing and presumed dead. The inability of the parents to deal with the loss of Hugh allows the two remaining children to slip further and further into trouble. As they struggle to deal with this loss in addition to the normal problems of c
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Donna
This book has been sitting on myself for years. I've decided to read it based on a whim and I am glad I did. It is also scary the hell to me as a parent! Teenage years are the hardest thing to get through. Their thought processes are completely out of whack and you can really feel it throughout this book.

Losing a child must be completley horrifying for parents and how could you ever bounce back? It must be so hard to push and to stay strong for your children but this story shows that however yo
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Casey Dwyer
this book was filled with suspense in almost every chapter. it was written so that you could not put it down until you finished reading it. this book is definitely not meant to be read by all ages due to some the graphic themes, but this would be a good novel for young adults. it basically tells the story of a broken family trying to deal with its past and find a future.

this book is also a reminder of how silence and grieve can be a corrosive mixture. the story is told in two different perspecti
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Kerri
I'm actually giving this a 3.5 star review. This was a pretty good book. An easy and fast read. I could relate a lot to Lena, the main protagonist. This is a story of a family and how they deal with loss, confrontation and secrets. I'll read more of Lisa Carey books.
Heather
The reviews I read on this book consistently cited Carey's narrative style as a negative feature in this book. However, for this story, it worked particularly well. I particularly like bildungsroman novels, and while this one isn't exactly true to that genre, it has some elements nonetheless. The narration is split between the two children, Owen and Lena, and they expose the reader to life in the shadow of an older brother's unexplained disappearance. Both children struggle with identity--Owen e ...more
Erica
I don't usually NOT finish a book, but this was one of those for me. I love Lisa Carey's novels, and each of her previous ones has really moved me, but I thought that this book was too much. I understand that teens are experiencing and knowing more about sex than I did at that age, but I did not want to read about a 10 year old boy's sexual experiences. It disturbed me greatly. I highly recommend her other novels, and I look forward to seeing what she'll write next, but this was definitely not o ...more
Carrie
No character is really likeable – maybe the younger brother Owen, but not enough that I ever became emotionally invested in his story. I kept reading to see what would happen, but not because I cared. I tend to love problem novels or the depressing topics but this one was just – ugh. Hated the parents. I give it two stars just because I do think there are people that would like it, and I didn’t have such a negative reaction that I am wanting to start a campaign against the book.
Sarah Pierce
This is a novel about what continues to happen to a family five years after the eldest son, the “golden boy,” has disappeared. It’s harrowing, but beautifully written, and is told from the point of view of the two children left behind; they are ignored by their parents and pretty much have to forge through the most difficult years of growing up on their own. This is the book that made me feel like I was going to hurtle into space when I finished it.
Amanda
When I first picked this book up 2 years ago, I ended up putting it down because I couldn't hang with it...it bored me. But this time around, I couldn't put it down. After about chapter 8, I guess, I was enthralled...dark, memorable characters that you will remember when you finish... makes me think of everyone I ever went to high school with that I considered to be "weird" or "different" and how foolish I was to think such a thing.
Hannah
I have loved every one of Lisa Carey's novels, despite my seething jealousy that she writes so much better than I do. This one was a teeny bit distracting because it was set in my old Brookline, MA neighborhood, but that didn't ultimately detract from my feeling so utterly compelled to finish it that I ignored several household chores today. Highly recommend.
Joy Dion
This book cronicled a family's breaking point following the disappearance of the oldest son some five years before. It primarily follows the two remaining children and their search for answers outside the family because the parents refused to discuss this with them.

I have never experienced anything in my life to compare to this, and it was very moving.
Jody
Not for the faint of heart - for sure. This is an extremely dysfunctional family novel. But of ocurse I liked that. My heart went out to this family because I could NOT imagine every losing a child. This novel is pretty much about what happens to everyone in the family once a member of the family is gone.
Anita
I stayed up till 1 am reading this book last night because I could not put it down. It was totally worth it, except even after finishing it, I couldn't sleep thinking about it. The two main characters were excellently written. Very well done portrayal of the affect a child gone missing has on the rest of his family.
Debs
Jan 29, 2010 Debs rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
This is the story of a family who have lost their oldest son, as told through the eyes of said son’s younger brother and sister. It’s moving and graceful and sad. If you can, check out the hardcover, because I feel that it better exemplifies the look and feel of the novel. /weird visual obsessing
Donna Kelly
This book was a little disturbing, but it does illustrate the fact that children know and understand more than we give them credit for. We should always remember that the more information they have the safer they are. Communicate with your kids nomatter how hard the situation is.
Alicia
Every Visible Thing is told from the point of a pre-teen (in this case, two of them). The subject matter is fairly deep - a missing sibling - but the book's realism and point of view makes the writing succeed. This isn't a great book, but it's a good one.
Charlie
Dec 08, 2011 Charlie is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
A big THANK YOU to my friend who gave me her copy of this book.

As I read through the pages, I can't help but think about JD Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye.

It is definitely a good read. I am gonna finish this tonight!

To Lisa, I am now a fan!
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Lisa Carey was born in 1970 in Boston, Massachusetts to Irish-American parents. She grew up in Brookline and later moved with her family to Hingham, Massachusetts.

She attended Boston College and received a B.A. in English and Philosophy in 1992.

Pursuing her MFA in Writing, she took a semester off and lived in Inishbofin, Ireland for six months. There, Carey began her first novel, The Mermaids Sin
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More about Lisa Carey...
The Mermaids Singing In the Country of the Young Love in the Asylum

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