Title: Only Child
Author: Rhiannon Navin
Publish Date: February 6, 2018
My Rating: 4/5
Readers of Jodi Picoult and Liane Moriarty will also like this tenderhearted debut about healing and family, narrated by an unforgettable six-year-old boy who reminds us that sometimes the littlest bodies hold the biggest hearts and the quietest voices speak the loudest.
Squeezed into a coat closet with his classmates and teacher, first grader Zach Taylor can hear gunshots ringing through the halls of his school. A gunman has entered the building, taking nineteen lives and irrevocably changing the very fabric of this close-knit community. While Zach’s mother pursues a quest for justice against the shooter’s parents, holding them responsible for their son’s actions, Zach retreats into his super-secret hideout and loses himself in a world of books and art. Armed with his newfound understanding, and with the optimism and stubbornness only a child could have, Zach sets out on a captivating journey towards healing and forgiveness, determined to help the adults in his life rediscover the universal truths of love and compassion needed to pull them through their darkest hours.
Zach and his first grade class squeeze into the classroom closet when a gunman enters the school. They can hear the gunshots as multiple lives are lost during the attack. After the shooting, Zach’s mother is one of the adults who holds the gunman’s parents responsible for their son’s actions. Zach is overlooked in a world of grieving adults. With his innocence and optimism, he attempts to help the ones he loves through the difficult time.
Told from the viewpoint of a child – Zach. An interesting POV, and one that seems fairly accurate. After such a terrible tragedy, not only are the children upset, but the adults are too. Seeing the behaviors and actions of the adults through a child’s eyes were a great way to tell this story.
Fantastic debut novel. An emotional story told in a captivating way. Loss, grief, anger, guilt, love, forgiveness, healing, and hope. This one can be hard to read due to the sensitive topic, but it’s well worth picking up.