The Space Between Trees
By Katie Williams
(Chronicle Books, Hardcover, 9780811871754, 280pp.)
Publication Date: April 7, 2010
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Not your everyday coming-of-age novel
This story was supposed to be about Eviehow she hasn't made a friend in years, how she tends to stretch the truth (especially about her so-called relationship with college drop-out Jonah Luks), and how she finally comes into her own once she learns to just be herselfbut it isn't. Because when her classmate Elizabeth "Zabet" McCabe's murdered body is found in the woods, everything changesand Evie's life is never the same again.
Katie Williams is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Texas at Austin and has published numerous short stories for adults. She lives in San Francisco, where she currently teaches writing at the Academy of Art. This is her first young adult novel.
A good option for reluctant readers, this thrilling story shows many instances of lyrical language, and the pacing is pitch-perfect.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, STARRED REVIEW
A loner, 16-year-old Evie seeks companionship where she can find it, whether it's with the group of girls who tolerate her company at lunch or with her crush, Jonah, a college dropout whose job entails clearing dead animals from the woods by a wealthy suburb. Evie often sees Jonah on her paper route and is there right after he discovers the body of Zabet (short for Elizabeth), a girl Evie was friends with years ago. Evie gradually befriends Hadley, Zabet's destructive best friend, who wants Evie's help tracking Zabet's killer. Evie's palpable loneliness is excruciating, and debut novelist Williams's prose brings readers deep inside Evie's psyche. Her first-person narration is full of the kind of thoughtful descriptions one might expect from someone who's much better at observation than interaction (of her mother: She orders her beauty into shape like a squad of soldiers.... So when she finally decides to look up at me, her face is all set, her beauty ready to salute ). Evie's raw honesty and the choices she makes make for difficult reading, but also a darkly beautiful, emotionally honest story of personal growth.
"A nail-biter packed with palpable suspense and enough violence to suit it for stronger stomachs.
Katie Williams debut novel, The Space Between Trees, offers a deft depiction of a girl coping with the truth, no matter how ugly it is. The haunting premise and honest narration of this poignant coming-of-age story will equally captivate both teen and adult readers.
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
This dark and suspenseful coming-of-age story builds steadily to a violent climax....Readers who have ever felt like they don't fit in will find it easy to empathize with the teen's struggle to connect to others, and anyone can relate to the disillusionment that comes with growing up.
A murder mystery propels the plot of Katie Williams's first novel, but the assured writing and the psychologically penetrating portrait of the two main characters play equally strong parts in this page-turner .Gripping.