The boy on the green bicycle: a memoir
The Diehls were a large Southern family settled in the North. There were four children in the big house in the leafy town, siblings exquisitely intertwined, forming their own child's universe around a brilliant and playful eldest brother. Jimmy is the family's symphonious spirit: the best loved, the brightest light, and Margaret's absolute champion and hero. He is 14 when he is killed, she 9, and her young soul is sent careening through the world in some entirely new and frightening way, imbued with an overwhelming sense of his absence from her eternity on earth.
This is a memoir of childhood's consciousness - of the longing to remain forever in the power of fairytale and bloodbond - and what happens to that consciousness when the boy poised to lead them all into adulthood vanishes.
His death affects each family member differently, and Margaret Diehl takes note of these distinct griefs while facing her own unimaginable loss. The permanence of it, the transience of his tantalizing aliveness, play havoc with her, inducing in the child and the woman an ineffable desire to pay witness to his life in her own.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
I finally found a book which reminds me of how it felt to be a child in a family of three siblings, (sisters no brothers). While the accidental death of a sibling and suicide of a parent are not familiar, I related to the descriptions of this teenybopper's dark depression and massive losses. Families are a complex society and this book tells it like I remember it in the 1970's: though California-style not in New York City, with a Southern-bred Mother.
Review: The Boy on the Green BicycleUser Review - Goodreads
A somber read.