SAY GOODNIGHT, GRACIE by Julie Reece Deaver


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The story of a lifelong friendship brutally cut short marks a promising debut by a new author. Jimmy and Morgan, both 17, have been best friends since birth, sharing the ups and downs of their suburban Chicago childhood and now the dreams of adolescence: he is a dancer, she studies acting; and as they share their first professional defeats, stronger and more complicated feelings for each other are beginning to emerge. But suddenly, Jimmy is killed by a drunk driver and Morgan is left to deal with the grief of a senseless tragedy and the loss of her only friend. She feels numb, unable to sleep, unwilling to share her feelings--and wants to tough it out alone. Only months later, when she faces her pain with the help of her family (especially her aunt, a hospital psychiatrist), does true understanding of her loss and the consequent healing begin. This risks being pat: Morgan's is a textbook case of grief, and she is surrounded by supremely understanding adults. But the detailed sensitivity with which Deaver explores Morgan's plight adds up to a fine characterization; as Morgan tells her story, it rings true. A memorably healing book.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1988
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Harper & Row