Title: Picture Me Gone
Author: Meg Rosoff
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile/Penguin
Pub Date: October 3, 2013
Rec. Age Level: 12+
More by author: How I Live Now, There Is No Dog, What I Was, Just In Case, The Bride’s Farewell
Meg Rosoff, as always, delivers a stunning, emotional read with PICTURE ME GONE. 12-year old Londoner, Mila, has accompanied her father, Gil, to New York where is estranged best friend, Matthew, has disappeared. Mila notices things. An observer with a keen eye, she connects small details others dismiss or overlook. She’s puzzled by Matthew’s disappearance, and as she and Gil attempt to unravel the mysteries of Matthew’s life – his motives, his relationships, his guilt – Mila comes to realize big ideas about life, trust, and the things that define who we are. Absolutely brilliant and beautifully written, PICTURE ME GONE is Important with a capital I.
“I would hate to have parents who were always looking over my shoulder, reading my diary, checking my thoughts. I would hate to be exposed. And so, perhaps, when I say I long to be a pane of glass, I am lying. I long for partial obscurity at the same time that I long for someone to know me.
It is confusing and difficult to be me.
Sometimes I I need to cry in order to release the great welling sadness I feel in my head.
For this I need privacy. I do not want anyone to see me and ask why, almost as much as I would like to be comforted.
Somehow, without ever being present, Matthew has exposed all of this, brought it wriggling to the surface like worms. They gather there now, vaguely nostalgic for the dark.”
“In theory, I would like to lead a transparent life. I wold like my life to be as clear as a new pane of glass, without anything shameful and no dark shadows. I would like that. But if I am completely honest, I have to acknowledge secrets too painful to even tell myself. There are things I consider in the deep dark of night, secret terrors. Why are they secrets? I could easily tell either of my parents how I feel, but what would they say? Don’t worry, darling, we will do our best never to die? We will never ever leave you, never contract cancer or walk in front of a bus or collapse of old age? We will not leave you alone, not ever, to navigate the world and all of its complexities without us?”
“I will not always be happy, but perhaps, if I’m lucky, I will be spared the agony of adding pain to the world.”