Title: Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams
Published: May 1st, 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Challenge(s): Support local library
Grade rate: B-
After her brother’s death, a teen struggles to rediscover love and find redemption in this gripping novel.
Growing up in Africa and Latin America as the children of missionaries, London and Zach were as close as could be. And then Zach dies, and the family is gutted. London’s father is distant. Her mother won’t speak. The days are filled with what-ifs and whispers: Did Zach take his own life? Was it London’s fault?
Alone and adrift, London finds herself torn between her brother’s best friend and the handsome new boy in town as she struggles to find herself—and ultimately redemption—in this authentic and affecting novel from award-winning novelist Carol Lynch Williams.
If I had to choose one word to describe Waiting, it will be ‘heartbreaking’. This is a book that will stay in your mind, even after you read the last word.
I think the synopsis gives the reader a pretty good idea of what the story line is. In a few short words, Zach was London’s brother and best friend, when he passed away she was left adrift in her pain with no lifesaver in sight. Yes, I know that sounded really corny, but that’s what happened. Instead of the rest of the family bonding in their pain or even seeking for help (it’s like there aren’t any counselors or psychologists!), they each drown in their very own ‘pool’ of sorrow and guilt. London mom’s is, in my opinion, plain crazy. Why did her father allow this to go on for almost a year? Why didn’t London reach for help before?
London is not a very likeable character. Although what she is going through is understandable, she also makes some awful decisions. I’ve seen a lot of rambling about the ‘cheating’, but really she wasn’t going ‘steady’ with either Jesse or Taylor. However, Jesse did have a girlfriend that was London’s best friend before; and that is just plain wrong. In her defense, I think that London’s intention was to feel loved, cherished, taken care of, have some contact or connection to another human being. I just can’t imagine going through life without anyone to offer love, kind words, concern; well, you know what I mean.
Taylor treated London like a china doll, with such care and understanding, and I love him for it. Lili, Jessie and even Lauren were good friends, and she can rely on them in the future. This, (and something else I won’t spoil for you) at last, with help her heal.
The plot was simple, a little cliché, and somewhat predictable. The crowning glory of Waiting is in the writing. The writing is amazing. In case you didn’t know, this book is written in verse, some pages contain a few words and others full sentences with dialogue; this makes the book a breeze to read. The other thing that bother me a bit was the constant religious references. I understand this as well, because London's parents are missionaries, but I feel it's a bit of an overkill. Here are some quotes from the book, so you’ll understand what I mean:
“It was Lauren. Of course, Lauren told Lili everything. At
least she knew, which I’m sure isn’t accurate. That’s
how gossip is. Bits of truth sprinkled with lots of crap.”
“Some late-night show is on and I should have been in
bed long ago, but I want to hear someone’s real voice.
The voice of someone who loves me (is there anyone?)
Not just Jay Leno or Jimmy Fallon.”
“If anything like this ever happens to me again
And I am the mom
And if there are another kids
I swear to God in Heaven that I will pull all who are left
I won’t leave one out.”
About the cover: To me, it’s amazing how a couple in an embrace can look so lonely and desolate. Beautiful!
Have you read Waiting? Do you like books in written in verse?