“Beyond Vica” by T. C. Booth: A heartwrenching story of love and friendship


This beautifully written and skillfully rendered tale of love and friendship is a heartwrenching story about three teens, Gabby, Sam and Brody, who have been friends since childhood. Their mutual love of astronomy inspired them to designate three stars as their own personal constellation which they named Vica, each star representing one of them and their bond of friendship. The backdrop the symbolism of this constellation provides for the story is genius in itself.

In my experience one of the most difficult years anyone has to navigate in life is fifteen and that is how old this trio happens to be when Sam is diagnosed with cancer. As if there aren’t already enough issues to deal with at that age such as school challenges, peer pressure, relationships with the opposite gender and their own developing sexuality, Gabby and Brody are now faced with supporting their lifelong friend to the end.

Written from Gabby’s viewpoint in the first person present tense, the immediacy draws you into her mind and heart as she’s not only torn apart by the thought of losing Sam but also the distant memory of the car wreck she experienced as a five year old where her father died before her eyes.

The rocky journey of losing a loved one will be endured by everyone at some point in life. Managing highly charged emotions at such a difficult time is shown in this touching story for what it is, which can serve as valuable information for those who have not experienced the loss of someone they loved and even if they have, they may have dealt with their feelings in an entirely different way. This touching story can thus promote understanding and compassion for those undergoing such an experience whose behavior at times may seem erratic, moody or express itself in unusual ways. Thus, the matter of dealing with the attendant emotions constructively as opposed to keeping them bottled up to fester inside in a potentially harmful manner is also touched upon along with the benefits of organizations such as hospice and the services they offer to grieving friends and relatives.

Truly this book is one that everyone can benefit from since the characters are so engaging that the reader can easily experience the impact of such a situation vicariously. It’s rather short and can be completed in an afternoon, but I don’t recommend it as a “beach read” unless you enjoy crying in public because I suspect tears are inevitable as you get pulled into this story. Yet it’s done in such a way that it’s not maudlin or overly sentimental, but simply addresses the situation in an entirely believable way. I highly recommend this story to everyone whether as comfort or reminder that you never know when someone you love will be taken from you and that someone you know is probably dealing with such a situation right now.

Pick up a copy today.  Only 99c at the Amazon link below.