Sunday 9 February 2014

All That’s Missing

All That’s Missing by Sarah Sullivan (Walker Books)
HC RRP $24.95
ISBN 9780763661021
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Arlo is in the sixth grade. His world is made up of his grandfather Poppo, his best friend Sam, and his running. Poppo is slipping in and out of time in his mind and Arlo is covering up about his life at home, and for the things that Poppo does. How long can Arlo keep their secret?

When Poppo has a stroke, everything goes haywire in Arlo’s life. Facing foster care, he sets out to find his ostracized paternal grandmother Ida whom he didn’t know existed, who lives hundreds of miles away. What he discovers changes his life completely, when a series of events forces the unknown story of his parents’ love for one another and their life together.

Evocative, filled with metaphor, and with a ghostly tale filtering through it, this book won’t be put down till the last word. It’s themes of loss and grief, and the importance of identity and belonging, meld together to form a moving tale about family love and loyalty. It also exposes the desolation of keeping secrets till death, and their effects on the living. Highly recommended.

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