Stories to Live Within: The Gone Away Place by Christopher Barzak

A sudden outbreak of tornadoes devastates Ellie Frame’s small Ohio town one spring morning, killing more than ninety people—including her best friends and her boyfriend who were trapped at the high school while she was skipping classes. However, those who were lost in the storm still linger, their ghosts haunting the town and their loved ones, unable to move past the liminal space Newfoundland has become.

The Gone Away Place collects the testaments of Ellie, her parents, and various ghosts as she tries to make sense of her own survival in the face of unfathomable destruction.

Wonders of the Invisible World (reviewed here), Barzak’s previous novel, was also set in rural Ohio; both employ the intimate and sometimes-suffocating setting of a small town to great effect and both explore the dangers of coming of age through a violent trauma.

The Gone Away Place is more ...