Laurel Garver holds degrees in English and journalism and earns a living as a magazine editor. She enjoys quirky independent films, word games, British television, Celtic music, and mentoring teens at her church. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.
Never Goneby Laurel Garver
Dani longs for his help as she tries and fails to
Teen artist Dani Deane feels like the universe has imploded when her father dies. Days after his death, she sees him leafing through sketches in her room, roaming the halls at church, wandering his own wake. Is grief making her crazy? Or is her dad adrift between this world and the next, trying to contact her?
Dani longs for his help as she tries and fails to connect with her workaholic mother. Her pain only deepens when astonishing secrets about her family history come to light. But Dani finds a surprising ally in Theo, the quiet guy lingering in the backstage of her life. He persistently reaches out as Dani's faith falters, her family relationships unravel, and she withdraws into a dangerous obsession with her father's ghostly appearances. Will she let her broken, prodigal heart find reason to hope again?
From the skyscrapers of New York to the sheep-dotted English countryside, NEVER GONE explores life after loss with emotional honesty, humor, and a touch of romance.
"NEVER GONE is a ghost story for a new generation - a twisty journey through a young girl's battle with death, grief, and the discovery of family secrets that threaten to undo her world. Garver tackles difficult subjects with depth and grace, weaving the complexities of faith with the complexities of growing up." --Heidi Willis, author of Some Kind of Normal
- CreateSpace Publishing
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.51(d)
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Never Gone is a beautifully written book about loss, grief, redemption, and long-buried secrets. It’s a metaphorical ghost story, which is my favorite kind. Going into the book, I thought it would mostly be about Dani trying to overcome her father’s unexpected death, but it’s about so much more than that—it’s about art, family relationships and the misunderstandings and miscommunications that can rupture them, faith, sanity, and forgiveness. I loved the vividly rendered settings of both New York City and small-town England. The main characters were all multilayered, rich and complex, but I was most impressed that even some of the smaller characters turned out to be much more than they first appeared. Dani’s uncle Philip and Hugh, the sort-of resident lunatic in the British town, were my favorite characters of all. Despite being about grief and death, Never Gone is a very hopeful book; at the same time, I appreciated that the author was willing to go to some very dark places. Dani’s disturbing dreams, in which she sort of constructs a new, healthier body for herself, were especially powerful. The descriptions of art were also very well done, particularly the breathtaking scene when Dani works with color rather than her usual pencils at the end. Overall, Never Gone is a moving look at one girl discovering that she can survive the deepest loss, and that the people she thinks she knows best just might surprise her. Favorite Quotes: “…I search for a tender, new heart. I know it will have the honeyed scent of snowdrops that fight to bloom through ice.” “Something in my mind, like an eye behind my eye, sees angel shapes in shadows of our lamp-lit street.”
Great Book For A Teen Book Club! Though the plot thickens slowly, readers of Never Gone will be rewarded,if patient, while digging into this well-developed teen fiction gem. Garver's detailed voyage through 15-year old Danielle's eyes delivers: intrigue, mystery, suspense, hilarity, tenderness, and spiritual truth. Artists will easily relate to Dani's sense of creativity and imagination as she looks at the world around her. Anyone who's lost someone close to them will be moved to tears as they walk with Dani through grief when her Dad dies. Because of Garver's gift with words on a page, we experience through Dani the awkwardness of young love, the emotional strain of alienation from a work-a-holic mom,and the thrill of her first strides toward independence. Dani navigates through uncharted territory, but finds she isn't alone. She gets answers to some questions that have plagued her for some time. Despite learning of dysfunction in her family, she also learns some family history that brings a new joy to her life. In the end she learns that good can actually come out of bad events - a valuable lesson for adults, young or old. And that real love is...never gone!
This book made me cry at least three times. Not because it's depressing, but because it's so touching. It's a book that deals with both death and estrangement in a tender and sensitive way. The writing is lyrical, picturesque, and delicate. The voice of the author is both strong and soft as she takes us through the stages of grief, delves into the protagonists most intimate relationships, and explores where the supernatural ends and where delusion begins.
Never Gone is a young adult novel that deals delicately and truthfully with a teen's struggles and triumphs while dealing with a loss of a parent. Fifteen year old Dani is a typical teen finding her place amoung her family, her friends, and boys, but the sudden loss of her Dad spins her world. Grieving, she begins to 'see' her Dad, believing he still has something to tell her. Gripping to find a truth to fall on solid ground again, she searches him out. But the truth she finds is not what she expected but much more satisfying. From the sky-scrapers of New York, to the hills of England, Garver brings you on a lyrical journey that rolls with highs and lows, full of valleys of tenderness. I would recommend this book to both adults and teens.
DNF - 0 stars Where I stopped reading: Location 585 of 1154 on the e-Book app of my iPhone. Why I stopped reading: The book got progressively less novel-like and more trying-to-convert-me-like the more I read. Somewhere between the heroine being damned for seeing a ghost and being advised that a “scientific” way of thinking was inferior to religion and ultimately incorrect, my heart hurt so much I had to stop. Listen. Faith and science aren’t opposites – I’m a big fan of both – but when one starts judging the other (no matter which side you start on) no one wins. As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Book Reviews. (I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
Fifteen year old Dani Dean is mourning the loss of her father. She keeps seeing him every where- walking in their apartment, at her church, even at his own funeral. She feels like she is going crazy. Dani’s relationship with her mother is not good. Her mom sends her off to England to stay with her father’s family. Dani fears this will be a permanent move. As she keeps seeing her dad’s ghost she believes he is the answer to her problems. Laurel Garver approached the hard issues of grief, doubt, and fear with a honesty I have never read. Dani was portrayed exactly as a fifteen year old should be when faced with the death of her father and the fear of change in her life and of forgetting the most important person in her world. The fact that her relationship with her mother, the person who should be supportive and comforting, is a poor relationship only adds to her feelings of loss. I did not quite understand how the adults in Dani’s life did not worry about all her ghost sightings. They did not offer her the support and help a teenager needs after the loss of such an important person in their life. I struggled with this part of the story. I had a hard time connecting with the characters because of this. Even with the tough subjects in this novel it is a very hopeful book. I will recommend this novel to young adults and not so young adult readers.