Diving into unknown water was so like Duane. Eric didn't want to let his big brother and best friend go, but their parents decided organ donation is the right thing. Now pieces of Duane are inside other people all over New England, and Eric finally decides to find out how that changed their lives.
As the life support machines beeped, Eric pleaded with Duane to wake up, to get back to his crazy self, to stay with him as his best (maybe only) friend. But no miracle occurred, despite Mom's constant prayers, so the doctors asked if Duane's organs can be used to help others. Eric's anger still isn't enough to stop his world from crumbling...
A year passes and Eric decides to take up donor services on their offer to connect him with those who received a new lease on life because of Duane. Out of high school a year, and still in a fog of grief, replaying the Navy recruiting video, but never having the strength to carry through, Eric needs to know that something good came out of Duane's accident.
Donor Services arranges for 3 recipients of Duane's organs to join Eric for high tea at a fancy Boston hotel - teenaged Phil who can hear at last with Duane's earbones, young mother Melinda whose new kidney will allow her to see her son grow up, and brash Barry who seems to be using Duane's liver as a cocktail strainer. They're nice people (except Barry), and they really enjoy hearing about the adventures that Eric shared with his big brother, telling him that if he wants to stay in touch, they do too.
Duane's on-again-off-again girlfriend, who left the country to volunteer overseas just before the accident, is back in town, having missed the funeral and the chance to mourn with the family. Meeting the people who now have pieces of Duane sounds like a good idea to her, so suddenly Eric is taking Martha to a birthday for Melinda's 4-year-old son at Chuck E. Cheese, helping her host a cookout at her apartment for Phil and his mom, trying not to gag when Barry flirts with her over sangria.
How are these people related to him, now that they are part-Duane?
Can't his parents understand that meeting them would help them heal, too?
Now where does he go in life without Duane?
Walking the long road of grief recovery gets a little easier for Eric with new friends and expanded possibilities in this follow-up to Iceman (Duane's nickname for Eric), Lynch's first novel about the brothers.
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA – blogging young adult books beyond the bestsellers at http://BooksYALove.com