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Reviewed by Cloie Belle Daffon for Readers' Favorite
Jeff Gunhus’s Caroline and Mordecai the Gand is a story about Caroline’s struggles after losing her father. Accepting his death is something Caroline could never think of doing at all. She just wants to stop thinking about anything and even refuses to remember even the happiest memories she had with her dad. Amidst her struggles and pain, she suddenly discovers a floating window of some sort in the middle of the lake. She thinks she must be going crazy from the stress and heartbreak she has been going through. However, her curiosity gets the better of her. She climbs the old oak tree to get a better view of the strange apparition, but she accidentally slips and falls right into the window. Suddenly, she finds herself in the middle of an unfamiliar world with no idea how to return home. Is this all real? Will Caroline find her way back home unscathed?
Caroline and Mordecai the Gand by Jeff Gunhus is a heartwarming and well-written story filled with many valuable lessons. Caroline’s pain from the loss of her father is heart-wrenching. I could feel her grief whenever she would recall a memory of her father. Caroline’s father was a kindhearted, family-oriented, and open-minded person, and he was a big part of Caroline’s life. He taught her so many things. One of my favorite lessons was when she asked him why people are so mean. He told her: “If we try to understand other people’s why, then we have a better chance of understanding our own along the way.” Caroline’s grief over the loss of her father reached me through the pages, and to her, it might have seemed easier to just not think of her father at all.
Her unexpected adventure through the mysterious window helped her realized that it was better to face her father’s memories head-on so that she could start healing. The courage and growth she exhibited as she journeyed across an unfamiliar world are truly commendable. Caroline and Mordecai the Gand is a story about grief, love, and an unexpected healing adventure. The characters have touched my heart, and Caroline’s dangerous adventures through an unfamiliar world had my attention to the very end. The story’s pace is steady and suits the unique plot crafted by Jeff Gunhus. Overall, a wonderful and distinctive piece of work I will never forget.