For the first time in long time, I read a YA novel this spring: Echo Still by my friend and colleague Tim Tibbitts.
It’s also the first time in a long time that I’ve pulled my head out from mounds of church-related books & papers to simply read a story about people.
And Echo Still is a simply beautiful story about people.
Echo Still is the kind of book you buy for your preteen or teen but secretly borrow to read for yourself. The story finds Elijah (nicknamed Fig) navigating the everyday highs and lows of seventh grade: with a love of soccer, an apathy toward homework, a disinterest in bar mitzvah classes, and an envy of other kids who seem to have life a little easier … but also with the incomplete knowledge of his mother who died from cancer and the odd particularities of a grandmother who comes to visit.
A quick read, Echo Still nevertheless conveys an emotional depth and a reality in relationships that had me reaching for the tissue box more than once. Tim Tibbitts paints a touching portrait of how familial love falls down, finds its footing, storms and rages, despairs, and shows up all over again — all in the most ordinary moments.
It’s the kind of book that makes me believe we might all be okay in the end, despite our brokenness.