SOMETHING VERY SORRY by Arno Bohlmeijer

SOMETHING VERY SORRY

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

An authentically childlike voice animates this sad tale of a nine-year-old and her family hospitalized after a devastating auto accident. Her arm in traction, Rosemyn is excited by all the attention until she comes to understand that her little sister, Phoebe, has brain damage, her father has serious physical injuries, and her mother is not expected to live. Rosemyn struggles with intense, conflicting feelings, many of which she, realistically, cannot describe. In his first book to be published in the US, the Dutch Bohlmeijer translates the story of his own family's tragedy into a fictional account of what his daughter may have endured. He creates a diary-like structure with dates for headings and short, episodic paragraphs, using simple language and leaving out details that would put the story in a particular time or setting. The author surrounds Rosemyn with sensitive, gentle adults--not to mouth conventional sentiments, but to show her that she is not alone. Her mother dies on Christmas; Rosemyn leaves the hospital two weeks later, grieving but obviously on the mend, both inside and out. Perceptive and engrossing.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
Page count: 178pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin