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A Year and a Day: A Novel by Leslie Pietrzyk
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A Year and a Day: A Novel

by Leslie Pietrzyk

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This is a wonderful story of a 15 year old girl who loses her mother, and spends a year questioning why, all the while hearing her mother's voice speaking to her, coaching her, teaching her, and telling her things that she did not know when her mother was alive.

Alice Martin is a typical teenager...hanging out with friends, having crushes on boys, and cherishes the times that she spends with her mom. Her mother, however, occasionally falls into deep depressions, and it was during one of these spells, that she kills herself. Alice, her 17 year old brother Will, and her Aunt Aggy struggle to find the answers why Annette Martin decided to do what she did.

Alice knows that nothing will ever be the same again, and wrestles with the fact that her mom is gone forever, and there are a lot of unanswered questions. When she begins hearing her dead mother's voice in her thoughts, she is not even afraid. Her mother's voice stays with her for a year and a day, answering many of Alice's questions.

This is moving coming-of-age story with a beautiful ending. ( )
  missysbooknook | Sep 5, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060554665, Paperback)

Fifteen-year-old Alice dreams of her first kiss, has sleepovers, auditions for Our Town, and tries to pass high school biology. It's 1975, and at first look, her life would seem to be normal and unexceptional. But in the world that Leslie Pietrzyk paints, every moment she chronicles is revealed through the kaleidoscope of loss, stained by the fact that Alice's mother, without warning, note, or apology, deliberately parks her car on the railroad tracks, in the path of an oncoming train.

In the emotional year that follows, Alice and her older brother find themselves in the care of their great aunt, forced to cope and move forward. Lonely and confused, Alice absorbs herself in her mother Annette's familiar rituals, trying to recapture their connection -- only to be stunned by the sound of her mother's voice speaking to her, engaging Alice in "conversations" and offering some insight into the life that she had led, beyond her role as Alice's mother.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Fifteen-year-old Alice dreams of her first kiss, goes to sleepovers, makes prank calls, auditions for Our Town, and tries to pass high school biology. It's 1975, and at first look her life would seem to be normal ... and unexceptional. But in the world that "genuine and fully developed talent" (Washington Post) Leslie Pietrzyk paints, every moment she chronicles is revealed through the kaleidoscope of loss, stained by the fact that Alice's mother, Annette, without warning, apology, explanation, or note, deliberately parks her car on the railroad tracks, in the path of an oncoming train. In the emotional year that follows, Alice and her older brother find themselves in the care of their great-aunt, forced to cope and move forward after their catastrophic loss. Lonely and confused, Alice absorbs herself in her mother's familiar rituals, trying to recapture their connection -- only to be stunned by the sound of her mother's voice speaking to her clear as day as she flips Sunday-morning pancakes. Driven to understand who her mother was, Alice distances herself from her girlfriends and brother as she engages in "conversations" with Annette. As Alice works through her grief, she slowly begins to see Annette as an individual -- separate from simply "my mother" -- and ultimately embraces the bittersweet knowledge that the lives to which we are most intimately connected often remain the most mysterious of all. Taking its title from the pop-psychology idea that it should only take a year to get over the death of a loved one, A Year and a Day is an intense and deeply affecting portrait of how the human heart counters tragedy and can spin hard-won triumph out of the deepest despair. A redemptive, often humorous meditation on growing up and growing into oneself, this is an intimate and heartwarming novel to curl up with and savor.… (more)

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