We Now Return to Regular Life by Martin WilsonA ripped-from-the-headlines novel that explores the power of being an ally—and a friend—when a kidnapped boy returns to his hometown.
Sam Walsh had been missing for three years. His older sister, Beth, thought he was dead. His childhood friend Josh thought it was all his fault. They were the last two people to see him alive.
Until now. Because Sam has been found, and he’s coming home. Beth desperately wants to understand what happened to her brother, but her family refuses to talk about it—even though Sam is clearly still affected by the abuse he faced at the hands of his captor.
And as Sam starts to confide in Josh about his past, Josh can’t admit the truths he’s hidden deep within himself: that he’s gay, and developing feelings for Sam. And, even bigger: that he never told the police everything he saw the day Sam disappeared.
As Beth and Josh struggle with their own issues, their friends and neighbors slowly turn on Sam, until one night when everything explodes. Beth can’t live in silence. Josh can’t live with his secrets. And Sam can’t continue on until the whole truth of what happened to him is out in the open.
For fans of thought-provoking stories like The Face on the Milk Carton, this is a book about learning to be an ally—even when the community around you doesn’t want you to be.
We Now Return to Regular Life - Booktalk
Thank you! Eleven-year-old Sam Walsh was on his way to the mall with his best friend, Josh, when he was abducted by a stranger from his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and taken across the state to Anniston, where he was severely physically and mentally abused. Three years later he returns to his family, seemingly healthy, but as the months go by, the trauma slowly reveals itself as perceived by two narrators: Josh and Sam's older sister, Beth. Sam's return becomes a national media story, and Beth, now a senior in high school, struggles to reidentify herself in the face of new attention from her classmates and the overwhelming upheaval of reconnecting with her lost brother. Josh, struggling to understand his own sexuality, becomes the one person Sam trusts with the discomforting, horrific stories of what happened to him while he was gone. The whole story unfolds in a fast-paced, near-cinematic sweep of Alabama heat, religion, and family drama. Readers may find themselves flipping quickly through the Beth narrative to discover the heart of what happened to Sam.
Sam Walsh had been missing for three years. His older sister, Beth, thought he was dead. His childhood friend Josh thought it was all his fault. They were the last two people to see him alive. Until now.
King, Adam Silvera, and Ellen Hopkins. The novel asks the question, what happens to siblings and close friends when an abducted child returns home? She thought he was dead.
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You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. The story starts with the titular return—Sam Walsh, who had disappeared from nearby his suburban Tuscaloosa neighborhood three years earlier, has come home. The details of what happened to Sam during those three years are unfurled slowly over the course of the book. As in his previous YA novel, Wilson here demonstrates both a strong memory of what it felt like to be a teenager and an exceptional talent for translating those memories into prose. This book does a good job of communicating some fairly complex and subtle truths about adolescence—for example that teens, even well-meaning ones, are usually unable to handle it when their friends are going through truly life-changing problems as opposed to run-of- the-mill high school drama —and adults are usually not much better at it.
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