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Dear Boy,: An Epistolary Memoir

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4.32  ·  Rating details ·  22 ratings  ·  8 reviews
In this lyric memoir of loss, the narrator's relationship with a beloved brother disintegrates against the backdrop of her mother's mental illness and, ultimately, her brother's death. Part poetry, part elegy, "Dear Boy" grapples with the universal issues of human longing and grief while praising the unexpected beauty to be found in the wake of such sorrows.
Paperback, 242 pages
Published November 23rd 2013 by Ovenbird Books (first published November 4th 2013)
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4.32  · 
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 ·  22 ratings  ·  8 reviews


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Judith Shadford
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Haunting, subtle, almost simple in its early entries, Heather Weber has kind of created a stunning monument to her brother and her own childhood out of a spiderweb. Short messages addressed to her brother following his tragic death in an auto accident: Dear Boy. She is Girl. He is Boy. Their father is Number One. Her mother is only called Peaches, not an endearment. Boy is eventually named as Henry. The stepfather is Number Two. And yet this quasi-anonymity pays off because it pulled me into Web ...more
Tarn Wilson
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Dear Boy goes in my all-time favorite memoir list. Weber structures the book as a series of letters to her brother, who has died as a young man. As children, she and her brother had been devoted to each other, but the chaos in their family, wrought by their mentally ill mother, had created a rift. This book is her goodbye, the conversation she was never able to have. The memories, often from a child’s point of view, are heartbreaking, but the simplicity and lyricism of Weber’s language, along wi ...more
Neha
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorite
This is really the best book I have read. It is so good and I personally know the author so its just great
Roses
Jan 12, 2015 added it
Dear Boy is a detailed account of a girls life with a troublemaker but caring older brother, an eccentric mother, an absentee father, and little Josh, her younger brother. It tells the story of a young girl looking up to her brother and coping with his untimely death at 36.

The girl depends on the boy for support throughout their difficulties with their mothers mental illness, which affected their relationships as they got older. Especially with the girls father as the mother accused him of rap
...more
Steven Harvey
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dear Boy is an excellent memoir about the death of Heather Weber's brother, a young man with a family. The epistolary form is particularly interesting since Weber lets her story emerge from a series of letters written to each of the characters, including herself. This form adds freshness and variety to the reading experience since the voice naturally shifts into different registers as the characters she addresses change. She also uses pseudonyms for each character calling her mother Peaches and ...more
Char
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
The author of this book is a good friend of mine, and I was more than happy to read her memoir. However, I did not expect to feel so many strong emotions that connected me to her past and her present. I cried at the loss of her brother, I railed against the frustration of having a mentally ill parent, and I felt some comfort at the restored relationships that came out of the wake of such a tragedy. I read straight through this book in one afternoon because I couldn't disengage myself from Heathe ...more
Amy
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I bought this memoir for the form--to see how the story was constructed in letters. I read it in a day for the tug it wrapped around my heart--for her brother, her impossible mother, and, finally for herself to forgive all of them. This book is full of largeness of character and human faith and unafraid of its way.
Alina Borger
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
This book is lovely, haunting, provocative. As a reader, I felt Weber's loss deeply. As a teacher, I plan to introduce the book as an option next year for my 10th grade memoir unit.
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Heather Weber is the Lead Pastor of CityChurch in Iowa City, IA. Her archive of blog posts about life, faith and parenting can be found at www.onravenstreet.com. She lives with her husband and three daughters in North Liberty, IA.