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The Impossible Knife of Memory

Cover: 'The Impossible Knife of Memory'

Staff Review: "The Impossible Knife of Memory" by Laurie Halse Anderson


Hayley Kincain, a high school senior, is trying to fly under the radar at school, particularly because she cannot afford drawing attention to her life at home. Her father, Andy, a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, is struggling with PTSD and a severe depression, and the return to his boyhood home has not proved to be a stabilizing force. Increasingly worried, Haley is forced to confront her own turbulent childhood memories as she fears for her father’s safety. Then there’s the sweet, intelligent Finn, who isn’t easily dissuaded by her prickly demeanor, to consider. Hayley has a distinct voice that rings true, and I found myself immersed in her world. The well-constructed story is rooted in the characters and narrative tension builds naturally out of the circumstances they face. Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson will not be disappointed by this latest work of realistic fiction, which is appropriate for older teens.

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

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