In All We Can Do Is Wait, Richard Lawson takes the reader on a journey of emotion, dread, and suspense.
What’s worse than knowing a loved one is dead? Waiting to find out if they’re alive.
There was a bridge collapse in Boston. A local hospital is flooded by a frantic crowd. All searching for news about their parents (siblings Jason and Alexa and also Morgan), their sisters (Skyler), their girlfriends (Scott)… Despite the waiting room being packed, these teens have never felt more alone. But with the help of each other–the help of strangers–they can survive the day.
Jason and Alexa used to be close. But Jason’s been lost for a while. A hollow shell, often turning to alcohol and drugs to try to fill the void that echoes in his head. Alexa’s looking for a sense of self, a sense of wonder. But lately, she keeps coming up empty. Skyler’s not sure how to define herself without her sister Kate. Kate is practically a mother figure to Skyler, even though they are only a few years apart in age. Scott loves Aimee–of that, he’s sure. But things have been rocky between them since Aimee’s been looking ahead to her future. Scott will still be working for his parents after high school. He’s not going anywhere, but he worries Aimee may already be out of reach. Morgan has her dad…and that’s about it. Her mom’s been out of the picture for a while. She’s crippled by the idea of what it might be like to go home, alone.
Lawson’s writing choices for All We Can Do Is Wait are not ones I’d normally have much faith in: a tale told by multiple narrators in third-person perspective, alternating between the past and the present. There are a lot of balls in the air, but not once was I overwhelmed or confused. Lawson’s decisions not only tolerate the story, they highlight it.
Even though there are quite a few characters, each is developed eloquently. They are dynamic. They are flawed. They are emotional. They have depth. Lawson manages to reflect an authentic teenage–and really, human–perspective in each and every one of them. There is nothing cheap about Lawson’s writing.
Personally, I’m not a fan of novels that include drinking and drug use. I admit, there was a little more in here than I wanted to read about. But this novel was not meant to be pretty or sparkly. It is heavy, and I appreciate it for that. Know you’re not in for a light read with All We Can Do Is Wait, but you are in for a captivating one.
*Please note that there are possible triggers in this novel. Alcohol use, drug use, and domestic violence are all included.*
RATING: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS
All We Can Do Is Wait is out now! Grab your copy from Amazon.
In the hours after a bridge collapse rocks their city, a group of Boston teenagers meet in the waiting room of Massachusetts General Hospital:
Siblings Jason and Alexa have already experienced enough grief for a lifetime, so in this moment of confusion and despair, Alexa hopes that she can look to her brother for support. But a secret Jason has been keeping from his sister threatens to tear the siblings apart…right when they need each other most.
Scott is waiting to hear about his girlfriend, Aimee, who was on a bus with her theater group when the bridge went down. Their relationship has been rocky, but Scott knows that if he can just see Aimee one more time, if she can just make it through this ordeal and he can tell her he loves her, everything will be all right.
And then there’s Skyler, whose sister Kate—the sister who is more like a mother, the sister who is basically Skyler’s everything—was crossing the bridge when it collapsed. As the minutes tick by without a word from the hospital staff, Skyler is left to wonder how she can possibly move through life without the one person who makes her feel strong when she’s at her weakest.