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A Year to the Day

A Year to the Day

by Robin Benway

Narrated by Sarah Beth Goer

Unabridged — 10 hours, 32 minutes

Robin Benway

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Overview

National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Robin Benway returns with a story of love, loss, and sisterhood reminiscent of I'll Give You the Sun and Every Day. Told in reverse chronological order, A Year to the Day will claim a permanent home in your heart.

IT'S BEEN A YEAR-A YEAR OF MISSING NINA

Leo can't remember what happened the night of the accident. All she knows is that she left the party with her older sister, Nina, and Nina's boyfriend, East. And now Nina is dead, killed by a drunk driver and leaving Leo with a hole inside her that's impossible to fill.

East, who loved Nina almost as much as Leo did, is the person who seems to most understand how she feels, and the two form a friendship based on their shared grief. But as she struggles to remember what happened, Leo discovers that East remembers every detail of the accident-and he won't tell her anything about it. In fact, he refuses to talk about that night at all.

As the days tumble one into the next, Leo's story comes together while her world falls apart. How can she move on if she never knows what really happened that night? And is happiness even possible in a world without Nina?



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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

05/02/2022

Told in reverse chronology, Benway’s moving story of grief begins exactly one year after a family’s tragic loss. Fifteen-year-old Leo’s older sister Nina, 17, was killed in a car accident while driving home from a party 365 days ago; an accident that Leo, despite living it, doesn’t remember. Now 16, all Leo can recall is leaving the party and seeing the police car’s lights after a drunk driver plowed into the siblings’ vehicle. In the days since the accident, Leo’s family has struggled to navigate their heartbreak (“Grief still comes in waves, pulling the memory of Nina closer and then further away”). Leo’s closest confidant is Nina’s former boyfriend, East, who knows the truth of what happened that devastating night—but he won’t tell Leo. As the clock winds back and details slowly emerge, Benway (Far from the Tree) highlights pivotal days throughout the year, rendering a persuasive portrait of heartache and loss. While the conclusion lacks the narrative’s emotional intensity, suspense, unanswered questions, and raw emotion blend together in an honest examination of one family’s varying symptoms and stages of grief. Most characters cue as white. Ages 13–up. Agent: Lisa Grubka, Fletcher & Co. (June)

From the Publisher

"The backward chronology is a bold and worthy experiment... A Year to the Day is a moving exploration of how the mind both punishes and protects, and a reminder of how fortunate we are to love and be loved, even if only for a short time."  — New York Times Book Review

"A moving exploration of grief in all its unpredictable messiness... An intelligent, compassionate examination of a family enduring a nightmare." — Kirkus Reviews

"The intense magic of Benway’s storytelling will be most welcome to those who loved her Far From the Tree." — Youth Services Book Review

"Told in reverse chronological order, A Year to the Day will claim a permanent home in your heart." — School Library Journal

"Suspense, unanswered questions, and raw emotion blend together in an honest examination of one family’s varying symptoms and stages of grief." — Publishers Weekly

Praise for Far From the Tree: “Family issues are neither airbrushed nor oversimplified. From the first page to the last, this compassionate, funny, moving, compulsively readable novel about what makes a family gets it right.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Equally heartwarming and heart-wrenching... Benway (Emmy & Oliver) delves into the souls of these characters as they wrestle to overcome feelings of inadequacy, abandonment, and betrayal, gradually coming to understand themselves and each other.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A brilliant exercise in empathy.”
New York Times Book Review

“A sensitive exploration of what it means to be a family…With an abundance of warmth and humor, the novel continues to circle back to the message that love doesn’t require perfection — that perhaps it reveals itself most fully when we don’t quite get it right, but keep trying.”
Chicago Tribune

“Benway adeptly leads readers through a tale of love, loss, and self-discovery. Expect to cry real tears at this one.”
— School Library Journal

Far from the Tree is the kind of book that strikes close to a reader’s heart. I had to know what happened to Grace, Maya, and Joaquin, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Beautiful.”
— Ally Condie, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of the Matched trilogy

Far from the Tree is a touching story about the strength and love of unconventional families, and the unbreakable bond of siblings near and far. Robin Benway’s characters are authentically crafted, full of heart, hurt, and hope.”
— Brandy Colbert, author of Pointe and Little & Lion

“A beautifully written story about the families we’re born with and the families we choose, as well as the power — and potential pain — of that choice.”
— Bustle

“A deeply moving novel...The trials the three teens face are always confronted directly and never diminished; their relationships, both new and old, are complicated and beautiful.”
— Shelf Awareness

Far from the Tree dives deep into themes of heartbreak and love, and presents a profound, emotional meditation on what it means to be family.”
— Brightly

“If you’ve even once wept at NBC’s This Is Us, you particularly owe it to yourself to pick this one up.”
— NPR.org

“The book really is something special.”
Wall Street Journal

“Readers will appreciate the explorations of family, stigma, and vulnerability. Benway is looking to follow in the Caroline Cooney footsteps of smart, realism-grounded stories.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Ally Condie

Far from the Tree is the kind of book that strikes close to a reader’s heart. I had to know what happened to Grace, Maya, and Joaquin, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Beautiful.”

Brandy Colbert

Far from the Tree is a touching story about the strength and love of unconventional families, and the unbreakable bond of siblings near and far. Robin Benway’s characters are authentically crafted, full of heart, hurt, and hope.”

Chicago Tribune

A sensitive exploration of what it means to be a family…With an abundance of warmth and humor, the novel continues to circle back to the message that love doesn’t require perfection — that perhaps it reveals itself most fully when we don’t quite get it right, but keep trying.”

Bustle

A beautifully written story about the families we’re born with and the families we choose, as well as the power — and potential pain — of that choice.”

New York Times Book Review

A brilliant exercise in empathy.”

Shelf Awareness

A deeply moving novel...The trials the three teens face are always confronted directly and never diminished; their relationships, both new and old, are complicated and beautiful.”

Chicago Tribune

A sensitive exploration of what it means to be a family…With an abundance of warmth and humor, the novel continues to circle back to the message that love doesn’t require perfection — that perhaps it reveals itself most fully when we don’t quite get it right, but keep trying.”

Brightly

Far from the Tree dives deep into themes of heartbreak and love, and presents a profound, emotional meditation on what it means to be family.”

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Readers will appreciate the explorations of family, stigma, and vulnerability. Benway is looking to follow in the Caroline Cooney footsteps of smart, realism-grounded stories.”

Wall Street Journal

The book really is something special.”

NPR.org

If you’ve even once wept at NBC’s This Is Us, you particularly owe it to yourself to pick this one up.”

Wall Street Journal

The book really is something special.”

Kirkus Reviews

2022-03-16
A young woman in Southern California struggles with the agony of her sister’s death from a car accident.

Sixteen-year-old Leo’s favorite person was her older sister, Nina, whose outspoken, funny persona endeared her to many. In a series of chronologically reversed vignettes over the course of the year since Nina’s death, ending with one that takes place just hours before the accident that takes her life, Benway presents a nuanced, realistic portrait of the losses experienced by those closest to Nina—Leo; their mother, father, and stepmother; and Nina’s boyfriend, East. The novel’s structure is an interesting and mostly successful narrative technique: While the movement of time can be a little difficult to track, the dates that preface each chapter, labeled in terms of where they fall in relation to the accident, help to keep the timeline from becoming too confusing so readers can focus on the moving exploration of grief in all its unpredictable messiness. Authentic, often sarcastically funny dialogue and texts bring a lightness and grim humor to interactions Leo has with East and others. Her divorced parents and stepmother are poignantly developed secondary characters, and the intricate dynamics of Leo’s relationships with each of them underscore the ripple effect that occurs in families following a tragic loss. All the main characters seem to be White and middle class.

An intelligent, compassionate examination of a family enduring a nightmare. (Fiction. 13-18)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940176256031
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/21/2022
Edition description: Unabridged

Customer Reviews