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A Wounded World is more than a story in the life of someone with ALS; it’s so much more deep. When I started reading it, I was thrust into the personal thoughts of a scared 12-year-old boy with a gift for art, who only has two persons in his life: his granny, whose death is imminent, and J. P. Harrah, a retired judge that looks over Rachel’s affairs and Normal. Normal’s life is one of constant fear: fear of the outside world, who took his family from him at the age of 9; fear of the future and a life without his granny; fear of falling asleep, because sleeping gave way to dreams, which gave way to nightmares and memories of death.
Two weeks after an emergency with Normal’s grandmother, they were both transferred to River Gate, a living community for the terminally ill. Rachel’s last years were to be lived as comfortable as possible, and her burdens lessened. Among other things, that meant Normal had to stop being homeschooled by Rachel, and be enrolled in a traditional high school. Despite all the fear and anxiety this change was giving Normal, there were some upsides. His homeroom teacher was interested in Normal’s art and helped him develop it. He also learned how to survive in a world full of bullies and people who were either disinterested or too scared to help others. Even though one would say Normal’s life was becoming more… normal, it was anything but. Living in a community for the terminally ill put the boy in constant contact with death, and that was not healthy.
Kincaid made a wonderful story with dynamic characters and a complex plot. I saw the lives of Normal and Rachel, the stories of the residents of River Gate, and a glimpse into J.P.’s life and motives. Additionally, the high school Normal was enrolled into brought many students with lives as diverse and complicated as someone can imagine. One of Normal’s classmates even felt the obligation of bringing Normal to the light and out of the shadows that hiding in death bring.
I enjoyed this novel and felt every emotion the characters portrayed. My rating for A Wounded World would be 3 out of 4 stars. I couldn’t rate it 4 stars because, when the story was wrapping up, some characters evolved, to me, too quick and drastically; like the author had to get to the point and finish the plot. I also got a bit confused with the ending—but that was probably on purpose. In spite of this few aspects, I fully recommend anyone to pick up a copy of this wonderful book. It would appeal to young and more mature readers, as well as to someone who has suffered the loss of a loved one.
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Congratulations to the author on the great review!
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Not sure this is for me, at least not right now, but maybe the sample will change my mind.
And thanks for being so honest about the ending!