The Dead I Know

The Dead I Know

Book - 2015
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Aaron Rowe's new job at a funeral parlor may be his salvation from sleepwalking, dreams he can't explain, and memories he can't recover, but if he doesn't discover the truth about his hidden past soon, he may fall asleep one night and never wake up.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2015]
ISBN: 9780544232747
0544232747
Characteristics: 201 pages ; 22 cm

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ychi
Jun 22, 2013

Aaron's character is ambiguous to begin with, which starts his character growth on exactly the right note. He's described as tall, dark and handsome, but clearly doesn't speak much. It's this mixture of shyness and taciturnity that works perfectly in endearing him to us as he's knocked for a loop by Skye, the inquisitive ten-year-old daughter of the funeral director, John Barton. Skye plays an instrumental role in opening Aaron up to the reader and making him likeable, and boy is he likeable by the end. One gets the sense that he's truly become tall, dark and handsome. At least, this reader does. (Tehe.) Mr. Barton is another character who offers a little doubt at the beginning, another character who develops in a subtle, authentic way. Though the mention of his absent son at the end is brief and somewhat random, the exchange following it between him and his wife more than makes up for it, as he reveals a little more of his personality. The plot is a little more wobbly. The funeral director's job is well-detailed, as are Aaron's trials and tribulations with it. However, the nightmare and sleepwalking serve to amp up the tension, rather than really move forward the story from A to B, especially as we only realize the dreams are related to Aaron at about the book's halfway point. Thanks to the book's length, though, the swaying-steady pace isn't quite an issue. The final resolving of the conflict is abrupt, giving Aaron practically no page-time to show his recovery/acceptance/etc., but with such a well-written ending, it's difficult to complain.

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ChiPubLib_Teens Mar 26, 2015

To truly know death, you'd have to have loved.

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