A Telegraph Best Young Adult Book, 2014
An Amazon Best Young Adult Book, 2014
For the past five years Hayley Kincain and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq.
Now they are back in town where he grew up so Hayley can go to a proper school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.
Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over?
‘Anderson provides a riveting study of a psychologically scarred teenager, peeling back layers of internal defenses to reveal a girl’s deepest wounds…It’s a tough, absorbing story of the effects of combat on soldiers and the people who love them.’
‘I finished the final few chapters of the novel unable to break away, closing the cover with waves of emotion crashing over me…a brilliant read.’
‘Here is a novel full of cutting tenderness, quiet reflection interspersed with a young woman’s rage and crippling inability to help her suffering father. It’s beautiful and haunting, as all Laurie Halse Anderson books tend to be.’
‘Laughter through tears and all manner of matters of the heart make this novel a standout for any reader 15 and up.’
‘A characteristically honest and deeply felt exploration of the lingering scars of war.’
‘Powerful writing, memorable characters and a sweet romance…this book is one incredible tale of a girl’s struggle with her war veteran father and her discovery of love.’ 5 star review
‘[Halse Anderson’s] brilliant turn of phrase, cynical, cutting and often very funny, ensures readers will warm to Hayley’s complex character immediately.’
‘Laurie Halse Anderson is the Paul Zindel of the 21st century, creating intriguing young characters who combine strangeness with charm…The Impossible Knife of Memory is a positive story, where events develop in an unpredictable way, avoiding cliches, and providing a satisfying conclusion. In fact, this is a novel that will be enjoyed by all who appreciate good writing.’
‘An impressive book. The characters of Hayley and her father [are] sympathetically drawn.’