Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Namesake by: Steven Parlato

Title: The Namesake
Author: Steven Parlato
Publisher: Merit Press
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover Arc
Source: FSB Media

Description:

Gifted artist? Standout student?

All his teachers are sure certain that Evan Galloway can be the graduate who brings glory to small, ordinary St. Sebastian's School.

As for Evan, however, he can't be bothered anymore.

Since the shock of his young father's suicide last spring, Evan no longer cares about the future. In fact, he believes that he spent the first fifteen years of his life living a lie. Despite his mother's encouragement and the steadfast companionship of his best friend, Alexis, Evan is mired in rage and bitterness. Good memories seem ludicrous when the present holds no hope.

Then Evan's grandmother hands him the key--literally, a key--to a locked trunk that his father hid when he was the same age as Evan is now. Digging into the trunk and the small-town secrets it uncovers, Evan can begin to face who his father really was, and why even the love of his son could not save him.

In a voice that resonates with the authenticity of grief, Steven Parlato tells a different kind of coming-of-age story, about a boy thrust into adulthood too soon, through the corridor of shame, disbelief, and finally...compassion.


My Thoughts: 

Evan Galloway doesn't remember much about the man that was his father as he committed suicide a year ago.  Through his grandmother he learns about his father and what he went through that brought him to that fateful morning. 

Evan or Junior has he is often referred is trying to piece together the why of the suicide.  Was it a matter of his father not loving him?  Or was it something more?  As Evan and Alexis piece together the story of Evan Galloway the father they find out that some secrets can't be forgiven no matter how much faith you have.  While you can forgive others you can't always forgive yourself.  Through a journal and cassette tapes we learn what kind of man Evan was.  We also learn the dark secrets he held.

This book was an emotional journey for teenage Evan to go through to make sense of what happened, and why people kept so many secrets from him.  In the end he was proud that he was named Junior after his father even if the suicide is a dark part in many ways Evan's relationships with his family improved once he uncovered what everyone was hiding from him.

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