Summary (from Goodreads):
“Mike was seven when his father was killed in mysterious circumstances in Afghanistan. Eight years later, the family still hasn’t recovered: Mike’s mom is overworked and overprotective; his younger sister Mary feels no connection to the father she barely remembers; and in his quest to be “the man of the family,” Mike knows he’s missing out on everyday high school life.
Then, out of the blue, Mike receives a letter from his father – the first of a series Dad wrote in Afghanistan, just in case he didn’t come home, meant to share some wisdom with his son on the eve of Mike’s 16th birthday. As the letters come in, Mike revels in spending time with his dad again, and takes his encouragement to try new things – to go out for the football team, and ask out the beautiful Isma. But who’s been keeping the letters all these years? And how did Dad actually die? As the answers to these mysteries are revealed, Mike and his family find a way to heal and move forward at last.”
I had really high expectations for this book. It’s a dead dad book, and so I expected to really overidentify and probably also cry a great deal.
Fortunately, that didn’t happen, but it also didn’t really resonate with me.
It’s definitely an interesting story, and I was very curious about what future letters would say and also about who was sending them.
A big part of it is the fact that I didn’t really like Mike’s mom. She is definitely heroic in her way, working multiple jobs to take care of Mike and his sister. But she also doesn’t really talk to either of her kids, and whenever Mike tries to talk to her (whether it’s about playing football or about his dad), she just completely shuts it down.
I enjoyed this okay, but I was expecting to love it.