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Dear Zoe: A Novel | [Philip Beard]

Dear Zoe: A Novel

Beard's stunning debut is an epistolary novel written from 15-year-old Tess DeNunzio to her little sister Zoe. After Zoe's accidental death on September 11, 2001, a day so many others died, Tess' family is numbed by their personal tragedy. Already acutely aware of her odd place in a home where her mother and stepfather now have children of their own, Tess begins her letter as a means of figuring out her own life, from her two-hour-a-day hair and makeup ritual to her complicity in Zoe's death.
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Publisher's Summary

Beard's stunning debut is an epistolary novel written from 15-year-old Tess DeNunzio to her little sister Zoe. After Zoe's accidental death on September 11, 2001, a day so many others died, Tess' family is numbed by their personal tragedy. Already acutely aware of her odd place in a home where her mother and stepfather now have children of their own, Tess begins her letter as a means of figuring out her own life, from her two-hour-a-day hair and makeup ritual to her complicity in Zoe's death. Only after she moves in with her real father, a well-intentioned deadbeat, and stumbles into a halting romance with the sweet but aimless boy next door, does Tess begin to open her heart once more.

Not since The Lovely Bones has there been a study of grief, adolescence, and healing that rings as true as Dear Zoe. In Tess, a girl on the verge of womanhood, Beard has crafted a pitch-perfect narrator and a debut novel of rare power and grace that will remain with readers long after the book is put down.

©2005 Philip Beard; (P)2005 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"Beard captures the raw emotion of a 15-year-old girl with impressive dexterity, following Tess through the many stages of grief. Everything about this moving, powerful debut rings true." (Booklist)

What Members Say

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    nas 10-18-09
    nas 10-18-09 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    8
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    FOLLOWING
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    "keeps you listening."

    I bought this on a whim. I was very impressed with the narrator...is she really a teenager? Also the fact that this was written by a man....he is so intuned to a teenage girl's angst..I find this unbelievable. Any way the book hooked me from the beginning...you just don't want to stop the car! It's sweet ,and sad. I don't know what I'd say about reading it...I trully think the narrator made this a great "listen". Get it. It's short and sweet and you will LOVE it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Millie Rigby, ID, United States 10-16-09
    Millie Rigby, ID, United States 10-16-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Narrator is the only good part"

    I enjoyed the narrator of this book, but found the story lacking. I would not encourage young people to read this because the descriptions of smoking pot and teenage sex were far too glamorous. The real life consequences of both were totally ignored. The narrator was excellent, but wasted on this book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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