The Mosaic by Nina BerkhoutThe Mosaic by Nina Berkhout

The Mosaic

byNina Berkhout

Hardcover | September 1, 2017

see the collection Mental Health: Teen Books

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Twyla Jane Lee has one goal. To finish senior year so she can get out of her military hometown of Halo, Montana. But to graduate, she needs to complete forty hours of community service, and that means helping out a rude and reclusive former Marine named Gabriel Finch.

A young veteran of the conflicts in the Middle East, Gabriel spends his days holed up in a decommissioned nuclear missile silo on his family farm. Twyla assumes he's just another doomsday prepper, readying his underground shelter for Armageddon. But soon she finds out the truth, and it takes her breath away.

Gradually the two misfits form a bond, and Twyla begins to unearth the secrets that have left the Marine battling ghosts. Her discoveries force her to question her views on the wars until she realizes that even if she gets out of Halo, she won't ever be able to leave Gabriel Finch's story behind her.

A beautifully written and thought-provoking novel about a teen facing the collision of love, ideals and uncertainty about her own future.

Nina Berkhout's debut adult novel, The Gallery of Lost Species (Anansi, Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's, Éditions XYZ) was acclaimed by the Toronto Star ("Berkhout does a masterful job") and the Globe and Mail ("deeply moving"). The novel was named an Indigo and Kobo Best Book and a Harper's Bazaar Hottest Breakout Novel. Berkhout is also th...
Title:The MosaicFormat:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:September 1, 2017Publisher:Groundwood Books LtdLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:155498985X

ISBN - 13:9781554989850


Rated 3 out of 5 by from This book doesn't sit well The writing is not elegant, the protagonist is not particularly engaging or special, and the first sixty pages are an absolute bore. However, the incredible accuracy of what falling in love as a teenager really is almost makes up for it all. This author seems to understand what most don't: life is not a rom-com, and teens are not adults in acne-prone bodies. This love story is very real in that it's hardly a real love story at all; a lot of it is self-induced, made bigger and more meaningful inside the protagonist's mind. Unfortunately, whatever ground the author gained with her amazing portrayal of teen romance, she lost with a horribly rushed and unsatisfying ending that doesn't seem to fit well with any of the characters. Read only if you're read for disappointment.
Date published: 2018-11-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thought provoking read Twyla has her life planned, knows what she wants and the guy she is going to do it all with. until she meets Gabriel, and injured war veteran. Her community service stint is supposed to be a one of , no strings attached. At first she dislikes Gabriel, but over time she starts to meet the real man behind the solitary, don't need any help image he presents. This community service arrangement brings out the worst in her seemingly perfect boyfriend. Twyla has to confront a lot of truths she is now learning. She has to determine who she truly wants to be as opposed to who others expect or are pressuring her to be. While Twyla is learning about becoming an adult, Gabriel begins to confront the ghosts that have haunted him since his earlier deployments. I was fascinated to read about the ammunition mosaic that he is creating and how it was helping him to cope. This was a thought provoking read. It wasn't light and fluffy, but more a gritty story that reflects true to life issues that teens have to deal with. I had me thinking about gossip and heresay as opposed to the underlying truth of situations. Twyla learned that you can't take everything at surface value especially when people and their emotions are involved.
Date published: 2017-06-30

Read from the Book

Gabriel Finch's longish hair was fair like his mother's. He was scruffy and less bulky than I'd imagined. Younger looking, too, with dark circles under his eyes. Even so, he had an intense gaze that went straight through me when he gave me a half-second glance.*He put a hand on my elbow and led me to the middle of the space."Wait here," he told me. The silence and pitch black was dizzying. I stumbled, trying to keep balanced.There was a loud click then, like the sound of Hawthorn's football stadium lights going on. My eyes were drawn to the spot of brightness, where Gabriel stood by a big rectangular light on a tripod. He'd set these up in a circle around the circumference of the space and he began switching them on one by one. My gasp echoed back at me as I followed the light washing over the dome.

Editorial Reviews

"Berkhout spins an ambitious and sophisticated tale . A rich and jumbled mix of war and peace by an author to watch." - Kirkus Reviews"Berkhout creates a cinematic feel with her evocative language and scene setting." - Quill & Quire"Berkhout sensitively examines the loyalties we have to our ideals, to each other, and to our country." - School Library Journal"With this moving novel of self-discovery, Berkhout offers a mindful, timely reminder about the perils of blind faith and the power of change." - Booklist"Readers will be pushed to consider Twyla and Gabriel's disparate views on war, their divergent life paths, and the common ground that unites them in this timely, heartfelt coming-of-age story." - Horn Book"Berkhout's prose has a maturity that respects her readers and also underlies the seriousness of this compelling novel." - Toronto Star