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The Book Of Living And Dying
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The Book Of Living And Dying

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  53 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Sarah Wagner can tell her brother is there before she even sees him. There is the lingering odour of earth and rain, and then he appears, sitting at the foot of her bed, as if everything was perfectly normal. Except John is dead.

Sarah is grieving—and scared. Desperately seeking help, she turns to her best friend, Donna, an angry girl on the fringe of society, and Michael,
Published July 27th 2005 by HarperTrophy (first published April 7th 2005)
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This book I read for my english course. Well, first I thought this was going to be some kind of horror book about ghosts and all these lame things. Then, I just seemed to be some dark, depressing girl who suffers through her brother's death by hallucinating and seeing him at night. She starts doing drugs and drinking and also goes through anorexia and has her native boyfriend who believes in spirits and stuffs like this. I sincerely felt depressed after finishing this book and also was pissed of ...more
I feel like I might have missed something with this one...definitely enjoyed it, finished it in one sitting (which makes Ghent a great storyteller who can sustain narrative momentum), but the ending kind of lost me. Strange and a little disappointing, leaving too many questions. And the subject material made me too uncomfortable; Ghent contemplates our mortality and death in general extremely well here, and the experience bummed me out. Not to mention her vivid descriptions of palliative care an ...more
I feel bad giving this two stars. The writing was well done, Ghent's turn of phrase frequently lovely and memorable.
I admit I rushed through the ending. Ghent may have dropped hints that I didn't catch. The conclusion was certainly different than I had anticipated.
I just didn't care much for the story, myself.
The descriptions of palliative care were interesting, and wrought to make one feel uncomfortable, force one to think... and they did.
Maybe I just wasn't really in the right mind-set to read
Natka S
I understand why a lot of people don't really end up liking this book because of it's ending. But you know what? Something about the confusion and the questions makes me love it even more. I have read this book probably close to 5 times during the course of the past 3 years. And each time I read it, it was a completly new expirience for me. The way this book is written I think is amazing. It captures into this girl's world and life......or maybe I just like reading weird books about messed up pe ...more
Kim O'Gorman
Ghents prose is lyrical at times and I would read another of her books for that alone.

The Book of Living and Dying felt confusing however. Although not a complete skeptic,
I soon became irritated with the "ghost" character of John. Did Sarah die or not? And why didn't she have more of a reaction after Donna's confession? What was the purpose of the Fool in the tarot cards? Some loose threads and a depressing story but lovely writing.
After reading this for the 1st time in grade 7, I emailed the author soon after about the ending. I was lucky enough to get a fully detailed explanation...stupidly enough, a few years later, I accidentally deleted the email.

All that aside, I love this book and re-read it last year. There's not much else I can say about it, I love everything about it.
Cindi (cheesygiraffe)
Strange, strange book but I really enjoyed it. The ending made sense but I'm still not sure about a few of the characters role. Mainly Donna and Peter. I understand her mom, brother and Michael though. I think... lol
Red Rover
Jun 17, 2007 Red Rover rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teens
Shelves: booksireadin2007
Very confusing. I read this while I was away on a trip where we were constantly busy, and didn't have much time to really try to get into it. It's very strange, but very interesting.
I usually like books with darker themes. This, however, was not one of them. I was left extremely confused and wishing I had stopped myself from finishing it.
One of the shortlisted titles for the CLA Young Adult Book Award in 2006.
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Natale Ghent has been writing stories since she was six. Her first books, written and illustrated, revolved around a family of circles: a momma circle, a papa circle and two baby circles. The momma circle wore a fur stole, distinguishing herself from the papa circle, who wore a fedora, naturally.

Natale graduated from writing about circles to writing and illustrating stories about a small fairy, a
More about Natale Ghent...
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