“The loss of innocence can be as dramatic as the loss of a parent of the discovery that what’s perceived to be truth can acutally be a big fat lie as shown in Kagen’s compassionate debut, a coming-of-age thriller set in Milwaukee during the summer of 1959.”
— Publisher’s Weekly
“Heart-rending, yet humorous and filled with hope, The Undertaking of Tess is a rare treat from an author who truly knows how to create unforgettable characters. Readers who loved Kagen’s Whistling in the Dark will adore Tess and Birdie in this delightful novella”.
– Sandra Kring, author of the national bestseller, The Book of Bright Ideas
During the summer of 1959, ten-year-old Theresa “Tessie” Finley has her work cut out for her. Not only is she attempting to come to grips with the devastating loss and guilt she feels after she witnessed her father’s drowning, her kid sister, Birdie, refuses to believe that their beloved Daddy is really gone. Tessie needs to make sure that she does before their Mom gets wind of how much “weirder” her sister’s getting. Stronger, and more down to Earth than ethereal Birdie, she’s always watched over her sister, so it’s only natural for her to come up with a plan that she jots down on one of her never-ending TO-DO lists. If Tessie can’t achieve her goals, she’s desperately worried that the beautiful, but self-occupied Louise, might send emotionally fragile Birdie to the County insane asylum.
Publication Date: July 26, 2014