Author: Courtney Summers
Publication: St. Martin's Griffin; Original edition (December 21, 2010)
Description: When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw? And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. Culler seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on...but are some questions better left unanswered?
My Thoughts: This was the most emotionally intense book I have read in quite a while. Eddie's first person account of her feelings after the suicide of her father are heartbreaking. She is floundering. She is obsessing about her father's death. She can't find any resolution. She needs to know why her father chose to commit suicide. She revisits the place where he died and the place where she found him. Her mother is emotionally absent because she is so absorbed in her own grief. Her best friend Milo doesn't know how to help her. She isn't allowing him to help. The arrival of an old girlfriend of Milo's doesn't help the situation either because she is a representative of the world where life is going on.
When Eddie meets Culler Evans, she finds a kindred soul. He was her father's last student. He is also a photographer. He uses Eddie and Eddie's emotions to try to get his own balance. After retrieving the contents of her father's studio and finding only a series of five photographs, they travel together to the sites where the photos were taken. Eddie is hoping that she will find some answers as she retraces her father's journey since the photos themselves don't answer any of her questions. But what she finds raises more questions than they answer.
The book was a great exploration of what it is like to be the one left behind when someone you love commits suicide. It focuses on the questions left behind and the guilt and how the survivor has their world forever changed. The language in the book is very descriptive but straight forward at the same time. It didn't take long to read. I got so involved in the story that I wanted to just keep reading. I did have to put it down and walk away for a while when the intensity got to be too much. I recommend the book to young adult readers.
Milo would do almost anything for me. He's been my best friend since second grade, when a brief but weird obsession with the original Star Trek got him sort of ostracized at the same time all the girls in our class decided a girl named Eddie must actually really be a boy. By third grade, we weren't so outcast anymore, but we were well beyond needing other people. We still are. Anyone else who happens on the both of us, they're just temps.