The life of a Taiwanese-American immigrant family of six in 1980s Alaska is already precarious when 10-year-old Gavin and his younger sister get meningitis. He falls into a coma and recovers. She doesn’t survive. Chia-Chia Lin’s debut novel follows the aftermath of her death, witnessing through Gavin's eyes the family’s grief and unraveling without its youngest member. Gavin and his two remaining siblings wander the woods behind their house, make friends with neighboring children, navigate a school where they don’t fit in and weather their parents' heartbreak. In graceful, precise language, Lin captures the details of the Alaskan wilderness and the family’s despair as they avoid talking about what’s tearing them apart.
Buy now: The Unpassing