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Monday, July 2, 2012

The World Without You

I was so excited to pick up this book.  The World Without You by Joshua Henkin was the lead book in several magazine book sections, so I snatched it up as soon as I was able.  Oh boy, and I thankful!

The Frankel family reconvenes at their Berkshires home on the Fourth of July--but this is no happy occasion.  It's the one-year anniversary of, and the headstone reveal of, the youngest Frankel, Leo, a journalist killed in Iraq.  Everyone brings their own baggage to the dinner table--Orthodox Jew Noelle comes packing her own kosher food from Israel, Lily feels the constant need to defend her unmarried relationship with her long-term boyfriend, and Clarissa is desperately trying to get pregnant.  Add to this Thisbe, Leo's widow, who comes with secrets of her own.

This book is hands-down the best I have read this year.  I was utterly blown away by it, and I am telling every person I see to go out and buy this book.  The writing is incredible; Henkin understands how to created a character arc in a way that I haven't seen in some time.  The story is awesome and the heartbreak is so real for each and every person in this book.  My heart even broke for the children who might never understand the gravity of the events that transpire over the pages of their story.

This was a book that, once I put down, I was afraid of picking up again. Because of it's intensity, it's addictiveness--because I feared that if I picked it up again I would never put it down.  That if I got lost in this family that I would never want to leave them again. I will continue to recommend this book over and over until everyone has read it.  Open your heart to the Frankels and welcome them into your life.  You will not regret the time you spend with them.



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