A despairing father and his 17-year-old daughter take an emotional journey together that brings redemption, hope and healing.
Tessa’s mother has recently died, and the teen is struggling to adjust to life with her loving but irresponsible pot-smoking dad, who is also fighting to right himself. To shake them from their spiritual stupors, her father suggests they take a spontaneous road trip—but there’s a precious reminder of her mother that Tessa can’t leave behind: a rare plant handed down by her grandfather and lovingly cared for by her mother. The trip ends at her grandmother Jenny’s house, but the journey does not. While her father and Jenny try to repair old rifts, Tessa slowly warms, forming a new bond with her grandmother. Enter Henry, a kind, handsome library employee and fellow book geek who seems totally in sync with Tessa, but even as their relationship deepens, he inexplicably keeps her at arm’s length. Meanwhile, Tessa’s plant is withering, and she is desperate to keep it from dying. Henry and the library staff collectively join the frantic research—and the ending is so enchanting it’s certain to reduce readers to bittersweet tears. Caletti’s writing is seamless and fluid, rich with descriptions of Tessa’s physical world as well as her inner ruminations.
A story that proves there can, indeed, be life after death. (Fiction. 12 & up)