The Odd Sea

The Odd Sea

Book - 1999
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"A haunting first novel that takes a horrifying family calamity and turns it into a form of magic."-- The New York Times

On a sunny spring morning, sixteen-year-old Ethan Shumway walks down his gravel driveway, turns the bend, and vanishes without a trace. As police search for clues, Ethan's devastated family and friends--from his parents and four siblings to the older woman who was more than a teacher to Ethan--grapple for answers in the teenager's enigmatic life. As this elusive mystery slowly weaves its way into the fabric of the family, Ethan's younger brother, Philip, becomes the last, most stubborn searcher of all: a boy caught between the power and fragility of youth, between the bonds and fissures of family, searching for understanding in the unbearable presence of loss.

Praise for The Odd Sea

"A powerful debut novel." -- People

" An] extraordinarily good first novel . . . The story has a dark, dreamlike quality, and author Reiken tells it with no melodrama nor any word out of place." -- Time

"A luminous parable about growing up, about the necessity of dealing with inevitable loss and questions that cannot be answered . . . Reiken is a smoothly seductive storyteller. He has talent for telling but not telling, for revealing only enough information to whet our appetite." -- Newsday

Publisher: New York : Dell Publishing, [1999]
Copyright Date: ©1998
ISBN: 9780385333382
Branch Call Number: REI
Characteristics: 214 pages


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This book made me feel sad, hopeful, pensive, angry, and ultimately somehow contented with the ending (I think). The story line centers around a family and community mourning the disappearance of high schooler Ethan- son, brother, friend, lover. Told from the perspective of Ethan's younger brother, Phillip, we watch as those who knew him grow and try to come to terms with his disappearance. Also- I appreciated all the spot-on references to rural Massachusetts, where the book is set.

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