Wish the title was different as my son is called James, however as an avid fan of Catherine Ryan Hyde I had to buy as I've read all the others. I was not disappointed. It is a teenagers book but I still enjoyed it as an adult but can recommend highly for ages 13 and up.
Everyone carries around some sort of guilt or regret. Most don't carry the burden that Theresa does.
James is her next-door neighbor. He's attractive, but a bit too bizarre for Theresa. And he's in love with her. He left for two years for the military and wrote her every week. She thinks she sent him maybe two letters in return.
Theresa is in love with her boyfriend, Randy. They've been dating for nine months now. However, he's just told her that he wants to take another girl, Rachel, to their friend Frieda's end-of-school party. There have been on-again and off-again periods with Randy before, but this is a first. Theresa lets him go, and in retaliation, she asks James if he'd like to go to a party with her. She is up front with him that it's purely for show, but James is thrilled to have the chance for even a pretend date with Theresa.
While James is off getting Theresa something cold to drink, Randy comes crawling back to Theresa, realizing he made a mistake. Theresa tries to think of James, but before she knows it, she and Randy are in a heavy makeout session. It's only after she hears James' motorcycle pull away that she starts to worry what he may think.
But that's not the worst of it. James doesn't come home, and Theresa goes to the cops. Not long after telling the cops he's missing, they come knocking on her door to tell her that his motorcycle has gone over the side of a cliff.
No one is to blame, but Theresa believes it's all her fault because of what James saw. Not able to handle the guilt or the remorse, she leaves home to reinvent herself.
Living in a beat-up trailer, a young neighbor girl starts hanging around. Before Theresa realizes it, life is changing again, and the thought-provoking actions of an eleven-year-old slowly brings Theresa back to the living.
What a powerful story. Theresa is determined to keep James' memory alive out of guilt. But Ms. Hyde weaves the story beautifully and the reader gets to see the slow healing process that Theresa, and also Cathy, her young neighbor, go through. You will surely laugh and cry with the story, but will come out much better for it on the other side. Just like Theresa did.
Reviewed by: Jaglvr
One person found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?