Sunday, March 16, 2014

WHEN YOU WERE HERE by Daisy Whitney

When You Were HereDanny is eighteen and about to graduate from high school.  He can't believe he is making decisions like whether or not he will keep the family home in California and the apartment in Tokyo, Japan.  When his father died suddenly six years ago, it seemed like such a life-changing event, and then shortly after that his mother was diagnosed with cancer.  Her promise to hang on to see him graduate didn't happen, and now he is trying to carrying on without the two most important people in his life.

In the two months since his mother died, Danny has been surviving with the help of his mother's best friend.  There have been some difficult moments since the woman is also the mother of Danny's ex-girlfriend Holland.  When Holland returns from her first year away at college, she tries to help fill the void in Danny's life, but all he can think about is how she dumped him when he needed her most.

Danny receives a message from the mother and daughter who watch over the Tokyo apartment.  Kana, translating for her mother, mentions several things left behind in the apartment and wonders if Danny has any special instructions for the items.  Since Holland's constant attention is wearing on Danny, he decides to travel to Tokyo and try to find some answers about his mother's life in the country she always loved. 

Once in Tokyo Danny finds Kana extremely helpful and lots of fun.  She takes him to all his mother's favorite places and offers to help him talk to the Japanese doctor who introduced his mother to a unique holistic cancer treatment.  Danny begins to understand his mother's spiritual connection to all things Japanese, and as the days pass, he discovers a secret side of his mother's life that involves much more than he bargained for.

WHEN YOU WERE HERE is a tenderhearted story about a young man trying to find his way after a terrible loss.  Readers will be touched by Danny as he learns about the depths of love and friendship and how to find new meaning in life.

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