Published by Simon & Schuster UK on 9th October 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Mental Health, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon US
If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be at home in New Jersey with her sweet British boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing him in the library stacks.
She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.
But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.
Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.
From New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer comes a breathtaking and surprising story about first love, deep sorrow, and the power of acceptance.
Guest Post from Meg Wolitzer
What would my Belzhar look like?
I guess my own personal Belzhar – a place I would want to go if I could write in a journal and have things return to the way they once were in my life – would include me being with my children when they were babies. It was such a happy and optimistic time, in which I didn’t yet know who they would turn out to be. (In fact I love who they’ve turned out to be; but at the time, I didn’t yet have many clues, and it was all still an interesting mystery.)
All I had to do back then was play with them, and the act of playing shaped their brains and made them grow. I would love nothing more than to be able to lie around on a rug and play with my little baby all day. But that part of my life is over, and I haven’t found the right red leather journal that will allow me to return to it. Yet of course there are plenty of other rewards when your children grow up- among them, having them to talk to and get to know.
Writing about a place that lets you be reunited with the person or thing you’ve lost was an irresistible idea to me when I was first conceiving of Belzhar as a novel. We all want what we can’t have; I suppose it’s part of our nature. In a way, the concept of Belzhar was inspired by those dreams that I think everyone has had- where someone who has died is suddenly back for a while. But then you wake up, and you have to remember the truth all over again, and for a moment you are so disappointed, and saddened, as you make the leap from fantasy to inevitable reality.