Twelve-year-old Autumn's world is shattered when her beloved Great-Pop, Tommy Johnson, suffers a stroke that leaves him comatose. With everyone around her resigning themselves to the inevitable, Autumn is the only one not willing to give up. She and Great-Pop have more secret stories to share with each other, after all. More stories about Roy McMillanthe great love of Tommy's life whom he lost fifty years ago.
Autumn struggles to keep Great-Pop on this side of death's door. But how can she compete with the beautiful and mysterious Valleya place of surreal magic where the sun never fully sets? Especially when there's someone familiar in the Valley who will do everything he can to keep Great-Pop from returning to her.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
After reading this, I'm going to have to stop saying, "I don't read YA." This was by far one of the best books I've read in a long time. This is not merely a book about two men who fell in love at a time when they had to keep everything secret. It's also not merely a book about a dying man and his relationship with his beloved great-granddaughter. It's about how all relationships are complex and multi-faceted and how love doesn't just have one size or shape. I loved the main narrator, Autumn, and her spirit. At twelve, she came across as perfectly realistic. She's at once very innocent and young, yet she knows a lot about complicated grown-up things. It's her journey of self-discovery that's most relatable, even for adults. She's learning how to both let go and hang on, something most people struggle a lifetime to discover. I think I started crying by chapter three and sniffled on and off for the duration of the story (I completely lost it by the end). But as weird as this may sound, it was a happy kind of sad. Be prepared to invest in a lot of tissues when reading this one. The shifts in point of view/narration and the parts that are fantasy surprised me a little, but I don't think that took away from the story. I loved the way everything came together in the end, and it made sense to tell the story that way. I don't have a single negative thing to say about this book. I have a child around the same age as Autumn, and this book is definitely appropriate for me to share with him. (Other parents may not agree; there are references to intimacy, though nothing graphic, and it's clear in the story that Autumn's Great-Pop has shared them with her.) Everyone should read this book, and I'm of the opinion we should share it with our kids and talk with them about the themes. Ms. O'Tierney has earned a new fan, and I plan to find and read as many of her other works as I can. I give it 5 stars. Amy
I don't know if I can adequately describe this book. I feel my review would not do it justice. This book is full of sweetness, sadness but also love and hope. A young girl who loved her great grand pop with all her heart not wanting to let go of him. She carried his stories and secrets in her heart. I don't want to give away too much. But in the end it is all about keeping memories alive while letting go and being with the person you love and have always loved.