Either the Beginning or the End of the World
For sixteen years, it's been just Sofie and her father, living on the New Hampshire coast. Her Cambodian immigrant mother has floated in and out of her life, leaving Sofie with a fierce bitterness toward her-and a longing she wishes she could outgrow. "To me she is as unreliable as the wind." Then she meets Luke, an army medic back from Afghanistan, and the pull between them is as strong as the current of the rushing Piscataqua River. But Luke is still plagued by the trauma of war, as if he's lost with the ghosts in his past. Sofie's dad orders her to stay away; it may be the first time she has ever disobeyed him. "A ghost can't love you." When Sofie is forced to stay with her mother and grandmother while her dad's away, she is confronted with their memories of the ruthless Khmer Rouge, a war-torn countryside, and deeds of heartbreaking human devotion. "I don't want you for ancestors. I don't want that story." As Sofie and Luke navigate a forbidden landscape, they discover they both have their secrets, their scars, their wars. Together, they are dangerous. Together, they'll discover what extraordinary acts love can demand.
Family Relationships; Racial Diversity; Culture/Ethnicity; Disability and Health; Separation; Single parent; Biracial; Bicultural; Immigrants and refugees; Mental illness; separated parents; single father; biracial teenager; bicultural teenager; immigrant mother; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Cambodian / White
single father; absent mother and grandmother
Cybils Awards, 2015, Finalist, Young Adult (Speculative Fiction)
Maine Literary Award, 2016, Winner, Young Adults
fishing stories; shrimp; Cambodian Americans; veterans; secrecy; absentee mother; teenage romance; Afghanistan; New Hampshire; dog
Farish, Terry, "Either the Beginning or the End of the World" (2015). Diverse Families. 486.