Consumed by grief, the Darrow family is broken, and nine-year-old Stanley is wishing with all his effort that some kind of magic will arrive to put his family back together after the death of his father. “From the bottom of [his] flip-flops to the top of [his] Chicago Cubs baseball cap” (22), Stanley vows to find a way to make that happen.
While searching for a solution, Stanley encounters a man in a green jacket who can make leaves dance. When the mysterious man with a crooked grin shows up on the Darrow’s front step, Stanley wonders whether a male nanny (a manny?) can replace the friend, teacher, and “really encouraging person” his dad was. Time seems to bend to the will of Mr. Gedrick, and under the influence of his care, the Darrow family discovers that time, magic, grief, and renewal are all connected. They also learn that anger is an energy best channeled into something useful and that although inspiration arrives on its own schedule, it needs a doorway.
With his latest novel, Mr. Gedrick and Me, Patrick Carman takes readers on a grief-healing walk filled with meaning. On our meanderings, we unravel various realizations, namely that when we experience something traumatic, it’s often impossible to find our way back to where we once were. And maybe we’re not supposed to go back. Because life has no rewind button, we have no choice but to move forward and to find that someplace new out there waiting, a place like Swoghollow, “where only we can go to rest and think and remember” (189).
- Posted by Donna