The Secret Hum of Daisies, by Tracy Holczer | Book Review
Elizabeth Varadan | The Children’s Book Review | December 20, 2014
By Tracy Holczer
Age Range: 10 and up
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (May 1, 2014)
What to Expect: Humor combined with pathos and an upbeat ending.
Twelve-year-old Grace and her mother have moved from one town to another all her life. Finally, after nine months with Mrs. Greene and her daughter Lacey, Grace feels she’s found a home and a sister. The night she balks at another move, her mother takes a walk, falls into a nearby river, and drowns.
This is the background to the book’s opening, when Grace is attending her mother’s funeral and living in Auburn Valley with a grandmother she’s never known. Meanwhile, Grace and Lacey have a plan: If Grace makes herself obnoxious enough, she’ll be sent back to live with the Greenes.
But Grandma accepts Gracie’s refusal to live in the main house, her slovenly dress, her sulkiness, her various disobediences, with forbearance. Grace starts making friends in the new community, despite herself. And she starts finding folded or welded cranes in unexpected places. Her mother had supplemented odd jobs by making sculptures of cranes, so each new crane seems an omen. Following their “clues”, Grace starts solving mysteries her mother never explained.
This is a tender story, portraying the deep agony of loss, the confusion of guilt, and the slow thawing of a numbed heart. Slowly, Grace unravels each of her parents’ stories and comes to understand her grandmother is a person dealing with losses of her own.
“I didn’t even realize until right then that I’d been lost. Not just since Mama died, but before then too. If I was honest, I left a little piece of myself behind in every place we’d ever lived, felt so much pressure that I had to worry about things when Mama didn’t.”
This book will appeal to young readers whose families are or have been transient or who have unresolved family issues.
Add this book to your collection: The Secret Hum of Daisies
About the Author
Tracy Holczer lives in Southern California. The Secret Hum of the Daisy is her debut. For more information, visit: TracyHolczer.com
The Secret Hum of Daisies, by Tracy Holczer, was reviewed by Elizabeth Varadan. Discover more books about moving and loss by following along with these tags: Books About Moving House and Books on Loss.