STARRED REVIEW
February 2015

The haunting loss of a friend

By Elana K. Arnold
Three months after her friend Sarah dies, Iris Abernathy and her parents move from sunny California to an old farmhouse in rainy Oregon, where the miserable weather suits Iris’ mood. While Iris’ mother is adjusting well to her new job at a university and her father has taken to gardening and raising chickens, Iris can’t move past her grief. She believes Sarah is a ghost living in her new house.
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Three months after her friend Sarah dies, Iris Abernathy and her parents move from sunny California to an old farmhouse in rainy Oregon, where the miserable weather suits Iris’ mood. While Iris’ mother is adjusting well to her new job at a university and her father has taken to gardening and raising chickens, Iris can’t move past her grief. She believes Sarah is a ghost living in her new house.

When Iris begins sixth grade, she meets Boris, a socially awkward kid who’s into magic. Iris learns that Boris was a miracle baby and wasn’t supposed to live past his birth. Boris’ cousin, a devout Catholic, prayed for his survival and now, 12 years later, the Vatican is coming to Boris’ house to interview him. Iris wonders, if Boris’ miraculous existence is the evidence of divine intervention, then why couldn’t that same intervention turn Sarah into a ghost? And if Sarah is a ghost, maybe Iris doesn’t have to say goodbye to her best friend.

The Question of Miracles isn’t a story about the supernatural or religion, but rather about a young girl’s grief. Iris’ loss is heartbreaking, and readers will be touched by her strength as she searches for answers, struggles to accept Sarah’s death and embraces the small miracles as well as the big ones.

 

This article was originally published in the February 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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