Grief is an inescapable part of the human experience. While everyone suffers grief differently, having models of strong characters who have worked through their own raw emotions can serve as a guide to readers of all ages. That is one of the reasons that stories like Caroline and Mordecai the Gand are so important; though it is not easy to think about, many children suffer grief at a very young age and need stories like this to help understand their feelings.
This story is elegantly bookended by heartwarming letters from Caroline as a mother to her son Tommy. Having just received a jarring diagnosis, Caroline must prepare to tell young Tommy the realities of her situation. As a way to help Tommy navigate a future without Caroline, she writes a story about her own experience after the death of her father at the age of thirteen. The adventure she takes is very real for her, though its meaning is far deeper than a simple journey. Please see my full review here.
Reading stories about losing close loved ones is painful and sad, but much as Caroline learns through her travels, one must encounter suffering to truly experience joy. This poignant narrative shows this truth to Caroline and the reader simultaneously, reinforcing the strength we all have within us. Even when things seem so bad that it would be better not to feel at all, it is important to remember that joy and sadness are opposite faces of the same coin.
If I thought that the song You are My Sunshine made me cry before, I don’t know what will happen now! Endearing representations of the love of a parent for a child—especially with the possibility of impending death—are ever present in this heartwarming story. I highly recommend it for readers of all ages who need a little support getting through a challenging time.
Do you know another great story I should feature in my blog? Message me here and let me know!