The Fragile World
Paula Treick DeBoard
Summary (from Goodreads): From the author of publishing sensation The Mourning Hours comes a powerful new novel that explores every parent's worst nightmare.
The Kaufmans have always considered themselves a normal, happy family. Curtis is a physics teacher at a local high school. His wife, Kathleen, restores furniture for upscale boutiques. Daniel is away at college on a prestigious music scholarship, and twelve-year-old Olivia is a happy-go-lucky kid whose biggest concern is passing her next math test.
And then comes the middle-of-the-night phone call that changes everything.Daniel has been killed in what the police are calling a freak accident, and the remaining Kaufmans are left to flounder in their grief. The anguish of Daniel's death is isolating, and it's not long before this once perfect family find themselves falling apart. As time passes and the wound refuses to heal, Curtis becomes obsessed with the idea of revenge, a growing mania that leads him to pack up his life and his anxious teenage daughter and set out on a collision course to right a wrong.
An emotionally charged novel, The Fragile World is a journey through America's heartland and a family's brightest and darkest moments, exploring the devastating pain of losing a child and the beauty of finding healing in unexpected ways.
Review: I generally steer clear of books about kids who die, but I thought I'd take a chance on this one since it had a review by Heather Gudenkauf on the cover, and she is Becky's new favorite author. I wanted to like this book, but I didn't feel emotionally connected to it in any way. Perhaps it would have helped to have gotten to know the characters before Daniel dies, or perhaps more information about how each character handled the grieving process would have made me feel more connected. But this felt more like a book about a bizarre road trip for revenge than about dealing with grief. Added to that, it just felt too unrealistic.
Rating: 3 stars