As children, Roy and Alison Smith were so close their mother called them by one name: Alroy. But on a cool summer morning when she was fifteen, Alison woke to learn that Roy, three years older, was dead. While her Catholic parents wrestled with their faith and their grief, Alison made the mourners coffee, went to school to be taught by the nuns, and - being all her parents had left - set about coping. Over the next few years, she is blessed every morning by her father, gets a job at the school, and eventually begins a secret affair. But underneath this life run her private rituals of mourning, her increasing idiosyncrasies, unnoticed by parents trying to heal themselves and teachers anxious to be kind. Until suddenly, Alison begins to realize something's wrong. This is a book about grief - living with it and failing to recognize that you're suffering from it - but it's also a love story, about Alison's love of her brother, of her childhood, and finally of life. Name All the Animals is a compellingly beautiful, richly realized portrait of innocence struggling with loss.
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