The Impossible Knife of Memory

25 Feb

9780670012091_medium_The_Impossible_Knife_of_MemoryI’ll start by saying I read this book from cover to cover over a 12-hour time span – I couldn’t put it down.  I’m familiar with Laurie Halse Anderson, but mostly for her historical fiction works, I’ve never read Speak or Wintergirls, but I think I’m going to have to after reading The Impossible Knife of Memory.

Hayley Kincain has been traveling (or more like escaping) with her dad for the past five years as he tries to outrun the demons that chase him in his dreams.  Hayley’s father is a veteran and is dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from his ordeal.  He finally chooses to take Hayley back to their hometown so she can have a chance at finishing high school with a diploma, but as he spirals out of control turning to drugs and alcohol, Hayley’s not sure how much longer she can keep up the façade that everything is alright.

Enter Gracie,  a friend from the past dead-set on helping Hayley remember her past and survive the present.  And Finn, a relatively new kid in town whose as unwilling as Hayley to tell the truth about his past.  This is an amazing coming of age story that is told in such a compelling and realistic voice.  There are so many kids and teens that are required to grow up too fast and this is a story that is not only heartbreaking, but extremely real.  PTSD is a very serious condition that so many veterans are dealing with and unfortunately turn to drugs and alcohol to quiet their memories.  This is a close-up look at a family dealing with the after effects of war in the present day.  This is definitely for the young adult crowd, and it doesn’t get much better than this.  Definitely full of discussable issues to make a great book discussion for teens.

Check out more about author, Laurie Halse Anderson, on her website!

Title: The Impossible Knife of Memory
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: 2014
Page Number: 391 pgs.


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