Friday, January 6, 2012

Gone, by L.N. Cronk


David finds himself confused once in a while.  These days, he catches himself doing an odd thing or two, but chalks it up to daydreaming.  A devastating diagnoses lets David and Laci know that their lives together are about to change, quickly, and the results will be heartbreaking.  Slowly, David is fading away, and soon, the David he has always been will simply be... gone.

Grab some tissues if you are going to read this book.  I think, for me, this has been the most heartbreaking book so far in the Chop Chop series.  First off, we are seeing the slow whittling away of a character we have watched grow up throughout the series.  It is like losing a friend, truly.  For me, the book had an even deeper impact, as my grandfather had a form of the same disease that David has.  I remember, vaguely, what it was like to have a person slowly fade away.  It is incredibly difficult, and I think Cronk does a beautiful job of portraying this reality in a gentle way.

There is quite a jump in time from the previous book in the series to this book, and in some ways I really like that.  It is nice to know that this family had a long period of time where things were status quo, un-noteworthy.  However, I secretly hope that once the series ends, Cronk will be inspired to write about the lost years of David and Laci.  We learn that they adopt more children, who are minor characters in this book, but because Cronk is so wonderful at character development and dialogue, I do crave hearing how each child entered their lives.

The book certainly has a different pacing and tone from the previous ones in the book, which I personally appreciated.  While I have loved every book in the series, I think it was a wise decision to make this one different; it helps keep long time fans of the series on their toes, and gives them something completely new, wrapped in the packaging of characters we know and love.

As always, Cronk writes with heart and honesty, which is why I find her books so touching.  I wept my way through the ending, and found myself anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author.



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