Six months ago Emily Racine and her family were devastated by a car wreck. Each member of the family was effected in some way.
One of Emily’s legs was mangled, resulting in months of therapy and surgery that left her able to walk with a limp, but unable to do one of the things that she loved best: ballet dancing. But far worse than Emily’s fate was that of her brother Jon, who died that day, leaving a great hole in the Racine family.
Emily’s father was driving the family car when the accident occurred and he blames himself for the mistake. Now he has retreated to his office, the place where he wrote the best-selling books that made him famous as a writer. But Emily knows that her father isn’t writing another book. He’s spending his days in the office grieving and drinking far more beer than he should. Emily’s mother also blames herself, because she is a famous surgeon, and when the accident occurred she was away working on someone else’s child. She feels guilty that she wasn’t there to help her own son, and she hides her own pain by spending hours of overtime working at the hospital.
Emily has her own ways of coping with the accident. She spends her time in the basement, where she tries to practice ballet and restore her leg to the condition it was once in. But there is another reason why she likes to spend her time in the basement. In the old entertainment room where Jon and her friends used to hang out Emily can still talk to Jon and tell him about how things are going for her and her parents. Jon answers and tells her that he is fine and suggests things that she should do to help.
Somehow, Emily has a feeling that her parents and her psychotherapist would not want to hear that she still has contact with her dead brother, so Emily keeps it to herself. But then her parents make an announcement: they feel that their house is full of too many sad memories. They want to sell the house and move to another.
Emily can’t move, though, for doing so would be to lose her brother again. And so Emily decides to come up with a plan to turn realtors and home buyers away from the house. That way the Racine family can stay in their home, and Emily can continue to keep her brother living in the basement. As Emily carries out her increasingly elaborate plan, deep down she knows that eventually she will have to face the issues that really matter.
“Every Day and All the Time” is about how psychotherapy and dancing help Emily to accept her brother’s death and “move on” both emotionally and physically. Emily will never forget her brother, but she just needs to find a better way of dealing with his death.
I feel that Sis Dean’s book “Every Day and All the Time” is fascinating in the way that it shows each persons response to death. The different coping mechanisms of each member of the Racine family demonstrate how death affects the family. At the same time the book shows the difference between a healthy coping mechanism and an unhealthy one.
Sis Dean’s focus and depth of exploration on the subject of coping mechanisms makes “Every Day and All the Time” a sensitive and worthy book for young readers.
Inkweaver Book Rating: