Ellyn's Reviews > The Grief of Others

The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen
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Jan 20, 12

bookshelves: 2011
Read in January, 2011

This novel tells the story of the Ryrie family. After their infant son dies at 57 hours of age due to a birth defect, John and Ricky, and their children Paul and Biscuit, attempt to resume normal life and pretend nothing has happened while each is trying to deal with their own grief and sense of loss. John and Ricky struggle to maintain their marriage in the face of a painful secret, while Paul deals with bullying and Biscuit begins skipping school. Meanwhile, John's daughter from a long-ago relationship, whom the family barely knows, shows up at the home pregnant, and the family is introduced to Gordie, a young man from their town who has recently lost his father. Through these characters, the book explores grief and loss and its impact on family relationships, its ability to isolate and ultimately bring together. It's a sad but powerful book that's basically just about people living life. I liked it a lot, although sometimes it seemed like the characters were in their heads so much that not a lot actually happened. I appreciated that the author didn't feel the need to tie up every loose end at the ending. I listened on CD, and the narrator was pretty good but not amazing.
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