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There Will Come a Time

There Will Come a Time

5.0 2
by Carrie Arcos

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Mark grapples with the loss of his twin sister in this heart-wrenching novel of grief and resilience from National Book Award finalist Carrie Arcos.

Mark knows grief. Ever since the accident that killed his twin sister, Grace, the only time he feels at peace is when he visits the bridge where she died. Comfort is fleeting, but it’s almost within reach when


Mark grapples with the loss of his twin sister in this heart-wrenching novel of grief and resilience from National Book Award finalist Carrie Arcos.

Mark knows grief. Ever since the accident that killed his twin sister, Grace, the only time he feels at peace is when he visits the bridge where she died. Comfort is fleeting, but it’s almost within reach when he’s standing on the wrong side of the suicide bars. Almost.

Grace’s best friend, Hanna, says she understands what he’s going through. But she doesn’t. She can’t. It’s not just the enormity of his loss. As her twin, Mark should have known Grace as well as he knows himself. Yet when he reads her journal, it’s as if he didn’t know her at all.

As a way to remember Grace, Hanna convinces Mark to complete Grace’s bucket list from her journal. Mark’s sadness, anger, and his growing feelings for Hanna threaten to overwhelm him. But Mark can’t back out. He made a promise to honor Grace—and it’s his one chance to set things right.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Seventeen-year-old Mark isn't the only person grieving the death of his twin sister, Grace, but he has difficulty looking beyond his own pain, guilt, and rage. In a novel about letting go and reconnecting with people, National Book Award finalist Arcos (Out of Reach) delves deeply into her protagonist's emotions and unnerving memory of the car accident that he alone survived. Now a "Twinless Twin," Mark mostly keeps to himself, but risks sharing some of his thoughts with Grace's best friend Hannah. After they discover Grace's list of "Top Five Things to Do This Year," they decide to accomplish the tasks in her honor, a process that pushes their physical limits and leads Mark to better understand his misplaced anger and his sister's secret desires and fears. Meanwhile, his involvement with an artistic group project at school helps him rekindle old passions and regain a sense of purpose. With insight into the various stages of grief and the irrational behaviors that can emerge as a result, the book offers an inspiring account of emotional healing. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kerry Sparks, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. (Apr.)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Ultimately, this is a book about surviving a primal level of heartbreak, and as such it’s a nuanced but thoroughly effective tearjerker in its exploration of Mark’s learning to move forward alone.
This nuanced story presents a close study on how different people react to loss while posing many thorny questions about relationships. . . Give this book to anyone who wants a rock-solid, character-driven story of finding one’s footing after a life-changing event.
I’m so glad I read this novel and journeyed with Mark through the stages of grief. THERE WILL COME A TIME is an extremely evocative experience, and one that should be shared. This book definitely is a must read.
Kirkus Reviews
A sad and sweet story about coming to terms with loss.When his twin sister, Grace, is killed in a car accident, gifted 17-year-old musician Mark is cut adrift. In an honest and contemplative first-person narrative that picks up a few months after her death, Mark tries to figure out how to function again in a world that no longer includes his other half. The relationships that remain—with his estranged mother, his beautiful neighbor, his quirky classmates at the arts magnet school he attends—are sorely tested by his tendency to emotionally shape-shift between ghost and porcupine, but they offer opportunities for him to practice processing his grief with the same persistence and concentration he brings to practicing his bass guitar. There can be no tidy Brady Bunch ending for Mark; his twin will always be missing, and the best he can hope for is to get himself "[o]n [the] way to happy." But inspired by a list of things Grace had hoped to accomplish during their senior year, he ventures out of his introspection to take a few risks and start living again, and in so doing, he achieves a measure of peace. Mark's ethnic identity—he and his family are Filipino—provides cultural texture for the tale.Readers need not have lost someone dear to appreciate Mark's odyssey, as Arcos' compelling and likable characters will draw them in. (Fiction. 12-18)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Mark's grief after the death of his twin sister, Grace, is so intense that he has trouble functioning. Aside from missing her desperately—if your twin dies, are you still a twin?, he wonders—he blames himself for choosing that route to drive, for not being able to avoid the car that hit theirs. The only thing that makes him feel better is visiting the bridge where she died, though he's at least self-aware enough to know that it isn't healthy. When Grace's best friend, Hanna, suggests that the two of them work together to complete Grace's list of things to do this year, which includes such terrifying entries as learning to surf and performing spoken word at a club, he agrees as a way to honor his sister. But his growing feelings for Hanna complicate matters, especially since he has a long way to go before he learns to forgive the other driver—or himself. The protagonist is of Filipino descent, though his culture is not a focal point of the narrative. Libraries looking to diversify their collections might want to pick this up, as will those looking for thoughtful, character-driven stories.—Stephanie Klose, School Library Journal

Product Details

Simon Pulse
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
HL610L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

There Will Come A Time

  • When Chris speaks, his hands flop around like dying fish on the deck of a ship. I try not to stare, but it’s impossible. They’re pale, scaly things, too small for his wrists, more like the hands of a kid than a man. He’s going on and on about how much progress he thinks we’ve made, about how I’m on my way toward health. I notice that he doesn’t say I’m healed. Everyone is always in recovery. No one is ever whole. I didn’t need six therapy sessions to tell me that I’ll never be whole again.

    “Mark, so what do you think?”

    Hearing my name, I lift my gaze and meet his eyes. “What?”

    “How have these sessions been for you?”

    I’m unsure how to respond. If I say they’ve been helpful, then it’s as if I’m admitting that he’s been right—that everyone’s been right—and I’ve needed counseling. If I say they haven’t, he’ll write something like, Needs more time, and then I’ll have to waste additional hours of my life with this guy and his stupid fish hands.

    I take a different approach. “It’s always good to talk things out.” Not that I’ve done any talking. I’ve basically repeated Chris’s phrases back to him, telling him what I think he wants to hear. It’s easy, especially with adults who think listening means nodding and taking notes and making assumptions. Assumptions like Chris made when we met. He took one look at me—male, Filipino, teen, beanie, white plugs, red T-shirt, jeans—and said, “What’s up?” as if he was excited to practice his teen vernacular. I held out my hand and said, “Pleased to meet you.” I didn’t want to be there, but I’d been raised to respect authority. My formality must have thrown him, because he gave a thin smile after shaking my hand and motioned for me to sit in the black leather chair facing his desk.

    Chris’s brown eyes perk up at my response. I’ve probably made his day.

    “Yes, yes, it is, Mark. I’m glad you can see that.” He folds his tiny hands on the desk in front of him. “I hope you’ll take the tools you’ve learned here and apply them with your family, your friends. Know that you’re not alone. I am always here if you need to talk.”

    I nod. Sure, at 110 bucks an hour.

    “Great.” Chris gets up, signaling that our session is done. “Can you send your father in on your way out?”

    In the waiting room, Dad stands in front of a painting of an ocean.

    “Um, Chris wants you,” I say.

    Dad glances at my eyes, then looks at the floor as he says, “Okay.” He pats my shoulder twice as he walks by, and closes the door to Chris’s office behind him.

    I stand in his place across from the picture. The sea is dark blue and streams of sunlight break through a patch in the clouds, illuminating the water, making it sparkle. A couple of birds fly across the horizon. A lighthouse sits atop a cliff directing a beam of light at a small sailboat in the corner of the canvas. The caption underneath reads: AFTER THE STORM.

    They say grief is an ocean measured in waves and currents, rocking and tossing you about like a boat stranded in the middle of the deep. But this is not true. Grief is a dull blade against the skin of your soul. It takes its time doing its work. Grief will slowly drive you crazy, until you try to sever yourself like some kind of wounded animal caught in a trap. You’d rather maim yourself and be free.

    But you’ll never be free because you’ll always remember. I remember. I remember my twin sister, Grace. So I press up against the blade even harder.

  • Meet the Author

    Carrie Arcos is the author of There Will Come a Time and Out of Reach, which was a National Book Award Finalist. She lives with her family in Los Angeles, California. Visit her at CarrieArcos.com.

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    There Will Come a Time 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This was such a great book
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    The author clearly intended these characters to come through with real voices and she succeeded. The players ask hard questions of themselves and each other. They make mistakes and rally when it matters most. I LOVED diversity of the players and details of their environment. It is a very satisfying read, I highly recommend it!