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There Will Come a Time


There Will Come a Time

From the front cover of THERE WILL COME A TIME by Carrie Arcos, all one can see is the dark blues and blacks of the façade of a bridge and a lone street lamp. It looks a bit ominous. The back cover informs us that Mark Santos is the survivor of a horrible car accident that claimed the life of his twin sister. The novel picks up at the start of his senior year as he struggles to come to terms with Grace’s death. In an attempt to honor her, Mark and Grace’s best friend, Hanna, decide to complete a list the she made --- five things to do before the end of the year.

At first, I was afraid to read the novel because I sometimes feel that novels about grief can be oppressive. I am the type of reader to get so wrapped up in a character that I’m easily swayed by the emotions and impressions in the pages and the words stir up things I sometimes want to forget. I think Mark might feel the same. And I think we would both be wrong. Emotions deserve to be felt and acknowledged, especially where feelings of mourning are concerned. I’m so glad I read this novel and journeyed with Mark through the stages of grief. THERE WILL COME A TIME is an extremely evocative experience, and one that should be shared. This book definitely is a must read.

I’m so glad I read this novel and journeyed with Mark through the stages of grief. THERE WILL COME A TIME is an extremely evocative experience, and one that should be shared.

THERE WILL COME A TIME is a simple read, one that could be devoured in an afternoon if not for the heaviness of the content. Arcos lulls the reader with Mark’s first person point of view and matter-of-fact prose and then stuns with beautiful lines that really shine. I don’t like folding down the corners of pages but for this book, I made an exception --- I just kept coming across really lovely sentences and passages. One such passage was from early on in the book: “Ghosts are just pieces of memory. They haunt us because we don’t want to forget. We are the ghost makers. We take fragments of the dead and project them onto shadows and sounds, trying to make sense of loss by assigning it a new shape.” Such a lovely passage.

The structure of the book is also wonderful. It centers around Mark and his friends completing the list, with each point on the list anchoring the rest of the novel. It allows readers to learn as much about the girl at the heart of the novel as the characters she left behind. I believe it was a true representation of grief and its stages, as Mark grew angry, melancholy, and then started to heal.

I also enjoyed the supporting characters. Hanna was a wonderful companion to Mark. She too dealt with her own grief in a realistic way but still managed to seem independent of Mark. The Santos family was also written authentically. I felt the family working towards becoming whole again after losing one of their brightest members; I felt their frustration and hurt as Mark struggled, and I cheered with them when they came together at the end.

Before reading THERE WILL COME A TIME, I had been making my way through the most recent sci-fi young adult books. This book was a welcome change and not in the way I had originally expected. I think contemporary novels like this one are important because they speak truths and offer representation of everyday things that regular people experience. Every so often it’s refreshing to read about a character like Mark and about his situation. No matter how painful, it offers a cathartic release.

Reviewed by Brianna Robinson on April 23, 2014

There Will Come a Time
by Carrie Arcos

  • Publication Date: April 15, 2014
  • Genres: Youth Fiction
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • ISBN-10: 1442495855
  • ISBN-13: 9781442495852