Laurie Halse Anderson’s The Impossible Knife of Memory is a remarkable book that looks at the impact of post traumatic stress disorder not only for the person with it but for the family members around them. After jumping from place to place, Hayley and her dad have decided to attempt to settle down in upstate New York. After returning from Iraq Hayley’s dad struggles with demons making it next to impossible to keep a steady job or pay bills. In fact, some days he can’t even leave his room because he is stuck in his nightmares of war. However, Hayley is optimistic that she can have a normal life here, perhaps even a boyfriend.
“You could drive a truck through the amount of space between forgetting and not remembering.” This is one of my favorite lines in this book and it captures the essence of the story. Anderson is an amazing writer who captures the sensitivity and compassion between a father and daughter both dealing with PTSD. The characters are wonderful and the plot is fast-paced and intriguing. This is a book I highly recommend.