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On This Day    by Nathaniel Bellows order for
On This Day
by Nathaniel Bellows
Order:  USA  Can
Perennial, 2004 (2003)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Warren is eighteen, Joan is twenty. Their father died after a long illness and their mother shortly afterwards. On This Day is not so much a story about their parents' deaths as it is about Warren and Joan's journey through their grief. Eventually they discover how to live their lives as individuals, and as a new type of family.

I would classify the novel as literary fiction, but if that deters you, don't let it. This is a beautifully written book, with each word chosen to fit perfectly. It's not difficult reading, yet it's lyrical and will resonate with you long after completion. The story is told from Warren's first person point of view. He looks back at memories and glimpses into the past, to explain what's happened, and help him to discover more about himself and Joan. There are some laugh-out-loud moments of humor, especially when Warren and Joan are dealing with their strange relatives, and with others from the town who don't quite know how to talk to the siblings.

Debut author Nathaniel Bellows uses vivid imagery to describe the setting and the surroundings. Readers will feel as if they are placed directly into the story, experiencing the sea air and the cold wind along with the characters. I highly recommend On This Day as something unusual, a gem to be treasured.

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