The main character is nine-year-old Jeremy, a young artist. Jeremy's mother leaves the family to start a new life with the father of a schoolmate that is Jeremy's worst enemy. As his father deals with depression and his sister spends more and more time away from home, Jeremy finds that he must support himself and find his own way to cope with the loss.
Jeremy turns his focus to art, releasing his personal feelings through redrawing the “Book of Birds,” a collection of avian drawings that his mother took with her when she left. Jeremy's art leads him to form other relationships, and find solace in his nature drawings.
There are two things that I most liked about “The Day My Mother Left.” First, I found James Prosek's voice to be very calm and collected. Jeremy is neither cynical, nor overcome with pain, and as a result I think that this book will really strike a chord with anyone who has lost a parent. Second, I enjoyed the powerful images that fill “The Day My Mother Left.” The cover features colorful songbirds, happy memories from the lost “Book of Birds,” but the inside is full of black and white images of dead birds, with empty eyes, and curled feet. Sometimes these images serve as a contrast with the text, and sometimes as a support, but throughout they add extra depth and emotion to the plot.
“The Day My Mother Left” by James Prosek is a great novel that I highly recommend to all readers.
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