Tuesday, August 26, 2014

[Book Review] The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Fiction/Young Adult

Andrea reviews THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY by Laurie Halse Anderson (Viking, 2014)

This is another brilliantly tragic young adult (YA) novel written by author, Laurie Halse Anderson, who won the Michael L.  Printz Honor award with her debut novel, Speak.

Told primarily from the voice of Hayley Kincain, she is being “raised” by her Iraq war veteran father, Andy.  I am using the word raised loosely because, unfortunately for Hayley and all those around her, her father suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after serving tours in Iraq.
Andy’s primary occupation after serving his tours of duty was semi-truck driver. Because Hayley’s mother and grandmother both had died, Andy felt he had no choice but to take her on his long hauls. Hayley claimed she never saw the need for formal education; she was learning all she needed from being on the road with her dad. All that came to a screeching halt when Andy decides to put Hayley in public school for her senior year. Andy’s PTSD demons are getting worse and he decides to self-medicate. Hayley is having a hard enough time fitting in with the “zombies” of high school without Andy’s abusing her and himself.
This is a heartbreaking young adult novel that shows readers how war is destroying many people in so many different ways.

Andrea King, Poplar-White Station

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