Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Farewell Season - Anne Herrick

The Farewell Season by Ann Herrick
Release Date: May 19, 2011
Publisher: Kindle Edition

Eric used to think he'd live forever, but not any more. Now football season is about to start, and Eric hopes he can live life normally again after the death of his father through his participation in the sport. He doesn't yet realize that he is angry with his father for dying. Eric's refusal to truly face his grief results in unexpected feelings such as anger at his coach, increased fights with his sister, resentment of added responsibilities in helping his mother, and disillusionment with football. He even gets into a fight with his best friend, Rolf, who never fights anyone.  Eric rails against his mother's friendship with his father's business partner, and he's suspicious of the guy in a black pickup who keeps showing up around town. He's also ticked that even his coach seems a little too interested in his mother.  It takes a special relationship with Glynnie, a new friend, who is dealing with the divorce of her parents, to see that the only way to get through his grief is by grieving. An inspiring story of friendship, coming of age and football. - Goodreads.com

First, a heartfelt thank you to the author who provided a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.  Now to my thoughts....

The Farewell Season was one of those books that has a simple, honest story.  It's all about real people experiencing a life-changing event, and how that event affects and shapes them.  Eric, his sister, and mother have experienced the kind of loss that most everyone will at some point in their lives...the loss of a loved one.  The way Eric deals with his father's loss was very real, and very true to how I would imagine a teenaged boy might react.  Ann Herrick did an excellent job showing Eric through his stages of grief.  They say that as you progress through those stages, you'll experience many emotions, one of which is anger, maybe some bitterness even.  Eric is clearly in that stage at the start of the story.  He pushes his family and friends away, isolates himself, snaps at people around him, including his best friend, and his coach.  He treats his mother as if it's all her fault.  He almost seems to be on a collision course of destruction that could potentially derail him.  Enter Glynnie.

Glynnie was one of those quirky characters that you just have to love.  She's a little bit of a nerd, ask too many questions, and seems to know exactly how to chip away at Eric's layers of grief.  Watching her question him, get under his skin and make him think was so interesting.  It seemed like she knew just what to say, just which questions to ask that would goad him and get him to open up without realizing it.

I loved watching Eric grow and change throughout the story as he worked his way through his issues. There aren't that many books of this sort out there that are written from the male perspective, so this was refreshing.  I thought Ann Herrick did a great job getting into Eric's head and making his character seem real and believable.  All in all, this was an simple, honestly told story that was full of growth and warmth.  I would definitely recommend it.

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