The Dead and the Gone

by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Summary: In her book Life as We Knew It , Ms. Pfeffer told what happened in a rural town after an asteroid hit the moon and caused normal life to come to a halt. In this companion novel, the author describes how the same global disaster plays out in New York City.

Alex Morales, the seventeen-year-old son of a working class Puerto Rican family, is at home with his two younger sisters when the asteroid hits; their mother is at work, and their father is visiting Puerto Rico. Despite hope and fervent prayer, the parents do not return home. Alex is forced to do whatever it takes to care for his sisters in a terrifying catastrophe.

Thoughts: Surprisingly, I enjoyed this novel more than the first (which I also really liked!). The combination of the metropolitan setting, the absence of parents, and the family's religious faith intensified the story for me. I think those who liked the first novel as well as guy readers who didn't necessarily relate to the female character in Life as We Knew It will all be pulled into this companion tale.

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