Born into a family with artistry in their fingers, Lyza laments that her only talent is carving letters into wood. That is until her life is turned upside down when her mother succumbs to the influenza pandemic of 1918, which is devastating their small coastal town in Maine. With her mother gone, Lyza must protect her eccentric father, who runs the risk of being committed, especially now that he claims he’s waiting for the return of his dead wife. Can Lyza save her father and find her own path in the process?
Brand: Milkweed Editions
Used Book in Good Condition
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
At 14, Lyza lives in a world populated by the spirits her father claims to see - the ones that he carves faces of and sets adrift in boats to the sea. Her mother, an accomplished seamstress, holds the family together - homeschooling Lyza, making the extra money necessary for essentials with her work. Mater's family, the Bradleys, are estranged. They think that Lyza's Pater is crazy and belongs in "the farm" - the insane asylum. As Lyza mentally prepares herself for a trip to Portland, Maine, to take the high school exam, her best friend Jake insists that he has to go with her - he needs to see Portland, a real city.
With the influenza epidemic raging, Lyza and her family are witness to many funeral marches past their house to the graveyard, and father's carving becomes almost obsessive, with Mater needing to coax him back to the house to eat. Suddenly, Mater falls ill, and within a day or so, Pater and Lyza are rowing to an island set a short distance out to bury Mater...
15 year old Lyza loves her small reclusive family. Her mother is estranged from her family and her father is thought to be insane. Lyza does what any girl does, she studies, she has a part time job and she wonders about her future.
The story takes place in a small coastal village during the 1918 influenza epidemic. Funeral parades past Lyza's family home are a daily occurrence. When her mother falls fatally ill with the disease, Lyza begins a quest to save her father from the people who wish to place him in a work house for the mentally insane. Along the way, she discovers she is more like her parents than she ever realized.
I love a good historical novel. Learning about real events while immersed in a fictional novel adds another layer of depth to story which makes history tantalizing accessible to me as a reader. As a fictional novel, this one falls far short.
The premise of this novel is unique and unusual. I had high hopes for an action packed and...
I am sorry to say that I really didn't care for this book. The synopsis quickly attracted my attention, but upon reading the story, I found myself often confused and uninterested in the life of the characters. I think my confusion added to my dislike of the novel because it held me back in terms of getting to know the characters and understanding the true plotline of the story. I had a hard time following Lyza's train of thought, as she seems to go from one subject to the next, and I felt like an outsider as I read--it was difficult for me to make connections between the different topics Lyza brought to light, such as her father, her family, her schooling, etc. I think the choppy style of the narrative is one of the main aspects that I struggled with, though the amount of description in the beginning of the novel was also daunting to me, as I live for action, and felt like the story thrived more on description than actual events. Although the paranormal is present in this novel,...
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