Never Ending, by Martyn Bedford | Book Review
Age Range: 14 and up
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books (March 11, 2014)
What to expect: Loss, Grief, Therapy, Siblings
Fifteen-year-old Shiv doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to forgive herself for what she’s done. And she’s not sure she wants to, either. Her young brother and best friend, Declan, is dead, and she’s to blame. It’s been all over the news, and her family is broken. In a bid to end the blackouts, rage, and ravaging guilt following her brother’s death, Shiv has tried numerous therapies, but nothing has helped. Yet the Korsakoff Clinic promises to be different, and so Shiv agrees to become an inpatient. There, with five other residents, Shiv is subjected to unconventional therapies, made to face what she cannot bear to see. Forced to look headfirst into the fateful past, Shiv must learn to come to terms with the future.
Martyn Bedford creates a wonderfully complex and suspenseful story dealing with death and grief in Never Ending. The juxtaposition of love and loss, told through two compelling strands – at the clinic, and during her family’s fateful last days in Greece – make for an addictive read. With haunting, emotionally-wrought flashbacks and the wit and honesty that can only come from a shared experience, Bedford skillfully manages a character consumed by loss in a way that will have readers sympathizing, and reaching for the tissues. Never Ending is a convincing story of the closeness and friendship of siblings, and the all-too-real trauma and guilt that can come from loss. Those looking for an all-consuming, page-turner of a read, need look no further.
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About the Author
MARTYN BEDFORD has written five adult novels, including The Houdini Girl (Vintage), and an acclaimed YA novel, Flip. A former journalist, he teaches at Leeds Trinity University College. Martyn lives in West Yorkshire, England, with his wife and two daughters. Visit: http://martynbedford.com