The Extraordinary Side of Absence

The Extraordinary Side of Absence by Ana Hantt and Josie Baron


Jackie Foster understood at a very early age how her father’s drug addiction shaped her life: the limited space of a motorhome, the concealed violence, and—ultimately—the loss of the person she loved the most. Elena Whitehill knew she would never have a single concern in her life that had been planned out down to taking over her family’s pharmaceutical empire as long as she checked her aspirations at the door. When their universes collide in childhood, the two girls make a pact to support and protect each other as they challenge tradition and authority, poverty and classism, all in the pursuit of passion and success. But will their friendship be enough to help them re-write the legacies they inherited from their families?
In this collection of twenty-two stories that unfold over sixteen years, Jackie Foster and Elena Whitehill will prove that it doesn’t matter how many obstacles you face in life; everything is touched by the extraordinary when there is a true friend by your side.


The two protagonists of the book, Jackie and Elena, are young girls. They come from circumstances quite different from each other. In the lunchroom on the first day of third grade, Jackie supports Elena. Thus begins a friendship based on unconditional love and acceptance.
Ana Hantt and Josie Baron have created strong characters true to themselves. They support each other and are brave enough to overcome all obstacles and pursue their dreams.
The book follows the characters’ histories from their childhood and shows many moments where their age and personality evolve. Both girls have conflicts in their families, but they deal with them secure in each other’s support.
I am looking forward to their next book, which would carry these girls’ stories forward.

Note: I received a free ARC from BookSirens and am leaving this review voluntarily.

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