The Odd Sea, a novel by Frederick Reiken, is a story about the loss of a loved one. When sixteen year old Ethan Shumway leaves his home and suddenly disappears, each member of the family reacts in his or her own peculiar way. Lawrence or Mr. Shumway, Ethan’s father, rediscovers his dream, “the lost art of timber framing,” or putting together houses without using power tools or nails. Ethan’s mother, Marilyn, can’t sleep, and begins to spend her nights baking, reading classic novels, and standing out with the stars. Eventually, she grows so depressed she has to be hospitalized. Amy, the oldest sister, quickly accepts that Ethan will not return, and advises her siblings to find him inside their hearts. Dana, the youngest sister, works on her basketball skills, attending basketball camps, and shooting dozens of foul shots in the drive way after dark. Halley, Ethan’s younger sister, spents time “not finding Ethan,” with Philip for a while, then at some point she decides to get her mind on other things. Ethan’s younger brother, Philip, the narrator, becomes the last, most stubborn searcher of all. This essay will describe how Philip Shumway deals with the loss of his brother, Ethan.
First, Philip does everything he can to find Ethan. Even though it takes all of his time, or hurts somebody else’s feelings, he still keeps trying to find Ethan. He begins wandering the woods behind his house. He believes that if he doesn’t find any clue about Ethan, it will increase the odds of Ethan’s being alive. He quits the middle school soccer team, Halley skips cheerleading practice, and Dana starts to get serious about their outings more than her interest in basketball. Amy has to warn them, “Fine, You guys wasted half your summer…. If Ethan’s out there, he’ll come back. One day he’ll walk right up the driveway, just like always” (15). At this point, Halley goes back to cheerleading, Dana goes back to basketball practice, but Philip doesn’t go back to soccer team and he...
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