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As the police and media descend on the Woodrows, they feel that the laws of the universe have shattered. How can you solve a puzzle with no logic? As young Greta sets out to discover what really happened to her brother, each family member grapples with the joys and perils of loving, the persistence of loss, and the magic of everyday life.
2. What is the role of magic in the novel? How "real" is the world in which the novel takes place?
3. What do you think of the relationship between Hannah and Justin at the beginning on the novel? How would you describe it? What happens to their relationship over the course of the novel? How do their roles change in relationship to one another?
4. What is the effect of the "Saturday That Never Happened" chapter? Why do you think the author chose to include it?
5. Describe the relationship between Hannah and her sister. What clues do we have as to its history, and how it's gotten this way? What happens to Catherine and her relationship to Hannah over the course of the novel?
6. There are a number of references to fairy tales and children’s books in the novel. How is this story like and unlike a fairy tale?
7. There are a number of dreams in the book. What do they reveal about the characters? What do you think their role in the book is? Why might the author have chosen to include them?
8. How do our perceptions of Mike the Clown change over the course of the novel? How do they relate to the other characters' perceptions of him?
9. How does this experience change the adult characters in the book -- Hannah, Justin, and Tom? Where have they begun and where do they end up?
10. What do you think about Tom's progression through the novel? What makes him react the way he does? How do you feel about his actions?
11. Why do you think the author chose not to reveal what happened to James? If the book had portrayed James's experience, what do you think it might have been?
12. Why do you think the novel ends the way it does? Where the story leave us? What do you think the novel is trying to say about the nature of love and family?
13. Where do you think the characters will go from here?
Posted February 23, 2005
I thought this book was awesome and quite a page turner. It's great that the story moves along by each chapter being by a different character's perspective. Truly a great, creative storyWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 18, 2004
you want to be completely bored! This book is poorly written, predictable and long winded. The disorganization and lame dialogue make this one of the worst books I have ever read! I do NOT recommend this to anyone, and see it as a huge waste of time.
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 6, 2004
A flawless novel in which a little boy vanishes during a night out with his family. The consequences which follow plague everyone. Your empathy for the family never waivers as you read about the disappearance through the eyes of James's mother, father, sister, and the police officer assigned to protect the family in the aftermath. An amazing novel that deserves more attention.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 21, 2003
Takes an unlikely--indeed unbelievable--premise and makes out of it a thoroughly charming and wonderful story. Surprising, compassionate and gripping. I nearly had to put it down because I couldn't stand to find out what happened to James. But then, of course, I couldn't put it down!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 7, 2003
Rarely do I say this about a book and I read probably 1 book every 10 days. This one was exceptional -- a stunning debut by an incredibly talented writer. I do not have any children of my own and felt as though I was suffering as a parent right along with James' parents. This book exemplifies what really good fiction is all about. Kudos to you, Anne!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 26, 2002
Innovative and moving, Ms. Ursu flirts with possibilities in the most haunting of ways. How do we dare to love in a world where loss is everwhere? Daring fiction at its finest.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.