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Denis Ever After
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<p>Written by award-winning author Tony Abbott and perfect for fans of The Ethan I Was Before and The Thing About Jellyfish, this bittersweet middle grade novel follows the ghost of Denis Egan as he teams up with his living twin brother to solve the mystery of his death.</p> <p>Denis Egan is dead. </p> <p>He's okay with that. It's been five years since he died, and the place where souls go is actually pretty nice. Sure, there are some things about his life and how it ended he can't quite recall, but that's how it's supposed to be. Remembering could prevent Denis from moving on to whatever's next. </p> <p>However, something is standing in his way. His twin brother Matt can't let go of him, and as long as the living are holding on to his memory, Denis can't rest in peace.</p> <p>To uncover the truth about what happened that day five years before, Denis returns to his hometown and teams up with Matt. But visiting for too long has painful consequences for Denis, and Matt's renewed interest in his brother's passing is driving a wedge between his still-grieving parents.</p> <p>Can the two boys solve the mystery of Denis's death without breaking apart the family he's left behind? </p>
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*Starred Review* For the past five years, Denis Egan has lived in Port Haven with GeeGee (his great-grandmother), pleasantly passing time until they're permitted to enter Garden Hills, the soul's final destination. Being dead isn't bad, all things considered; memories of one's death are immediately forgotten, and other recollections fade until the person essentially does, too. Recently, though, Denis' afterlife has been disturbed by the voice of his still-living twin brother, Matt, who's calling for him with increasing urgency. On GeeGee's advice, Denis decides to pay Matt a visit. His return home is haunting in more ways than one, as he learns that his death at age seven was an unsolved murder that is tearing his family apart. Reunited with Matt, the two set about trying to crack the case, beginning with a trip to Gettysburg, where Denis' body was found. Abbott lays numerous plot threads in his complex novel as the boys search for clues and resurrect Denis' memories along the trail of his abduction. Rather than taking a sensational route, Abbott steadily guides readers through a dark quagmire of questions, anger, and fraying family bonds that are nevertheless held together by love. Surprising twists and turns braid the story's disparate parts into a revelatory whole that brings healing to its characters and won't be forgotten by its readers anytime soon.--Smith, Julia Copyright 2010 Booklist
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