The Survival Kit
By Donna Freitas
Publish date: Oct. 11, 2011
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 368 pages
When Rose’s mom dies, she leaves behind a brown paper bag labeled Rose’s Survival Kit. Inside the bag, Rose finds an iPod, with a to-be-determined playlist; a picture of peonies, for growing; a crystal heart, for loving; a paper star, for making a wish; and a paper kite, for letting go.
As Rose ponders the meaning of each item, she finds herself returning again and again to an unexpected source of comfort. Will is her family’s gardener, the school hockey star, and the only person who really understands what she’s going through. Can loss lead to love?
— Amazon.com description
I started to write a list being all like, “This book is great for fans of XYZ…” but then the list was huge. So, let’s cut through the comparisons and just get to the point because this book stands on its own.
The Survival Kit is a beautiful, sad and moving novel that had me alternatively sobbing like a baby* and swooning like a, well, teenager.
This is a story about grief and what it takes to pick yourself up from a devastating loss. Rose uncovers a survival kit her mom made her and, piece by piece, begins to put herself back together again.
Of course, part of that involves romance, thus the swoon part above. Will is a hockey player/shy boy/gardener who knows a thing or two about loss himself. You’ll love him.
As for the sobbing: It’s a very personal experience to read this book, and I assume every reader will react differently, depending on their own experiences.
However you react, I have a feeling most of you will find yourself emotionally moved somehow by this touching story about healing and strength and love.
*Sobfest 2012 continues, y’all!