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What Happened to Henry?
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What Happened to Henry?

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3.45  ·  Rating details ·  76 ratings  ·  9 reviews
What Happened to Henry is a funny, moving, wise, and powerful tale of a family's struggle to understand their own son-who is either crazy or blessed, not unlike the Cold War America in which they live.

Nine-year-old Lauren Cooper is devoted to her brother, Henry. She looks to him for strength, wisdom, and the cool levelheadedness that, she is realizing, she lacks. But whe
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 15th 2004 by Putnam Adult (first published 2004)
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Kate
Jan 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Henry is not quite of this world. He holds the siblings together as they attempt to raise themselves. Distant father and a grieving mother give them no guidance. They all turn out OK. Realistic characterizations, strong story line.
Diego Navarro
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
“What Happened to Henry” is a novel by Sharon Pywell. This book is an adult type of book, it has themes of strong emotional connections and just adult themes over all, I would say that this is a mix between a mystery and love book, and love as in family love. The story begins with the introduction of a Catholic family; the Cooper’s. The protagonists; Henry, Lauren, and Winston are introduced. Henry being the oldest, then Lauren, then Winston. A strange occurrence happens, there new born sister d ...more
Tianna
Aug 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Story Progression/development: 5
Characterization: 5
Conflict: 5
Conclusion: 5

Additional Thoughts:
This book was as close to fictional genius as it can get with an intense beginning and an ending that didn't leave you feeling like nothing was concluded.
The premise of the story is that Henry can inhabit the mind of a "habakushi" or survivor of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, Asagao. Asagao is unaware of his presence in his mind and slowly Asagao permeates from a dream to reality, which creates the con
...more
Rachael
Jul 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lit
I loved the idea of this book: a boy who also lives in the mind and soul of another man. I loved the characters: the three siblings struggling through the death of their baby sister; their mother, her depression, and crazy catholic religion, etc. I loved that the man whose mind Henry could overhear was a Japanese survivor of Hiroshima. I completely enjoyed the ongoing tension/question about mental disorder versus real connection between Henry and this man. The book and the writing were downright ...more
Michelle
Aug 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This is brilliant. Henry occupies the mind of a survivor of Hiroshima and therefore the minds of his siblings as well, as they try to take care of him. He is not worried about the details of life and often reassures them with zen-like sayings and sounds much wiser than his years. His brother and sister are often sparring and Henry is the bridge of calm in their relationship. Their are minor inconsistencies in this book. For example, how neatly tied up a character's life is in the end or how Wins ...more
Amy
Apr 19, 2010 rated it liked it
This book was interesting, but a bit odd. Henry is one of three surviving siblings. His parents lost an infant daughter to SIDS, which traumatizes the family. After receiving a severe electric shock, he forms a link to the lost spirit of a deceased Japanese man. Henry helps this wandering spirit to find his ultimate home, while simultaneously losing and finding his own. It was helpful to have read "Peony in Love" to understand the beliefs and view of the afterlife introduced by Henry's unique ex ...more
Karen
Sep 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Interesting read about mental illness but I kept wondering if there was more to the story.
Barbara
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Slow reading. I was fascinated with Ausiago and the concept of what Henry is really experiencing.
Patricia Connolly
Feb 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
That's the thing... It wasn't just Henry. It was his whole family. Challenging because of the complexity of mental illness, but warm and funny and evocative.
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