Losing a parent as a teenager is devastating and these books deal sensitively with this difficult subject. They tell the story of Tony, a fifteen year old boy whose mother is dying from multiple sclerosis. His father is the local vicar and Tony has to juggle schoolwork with nursing his mum and fending off questions about her from concerned friends and teachers.
On Eagles' Wings is set in the final weeks of his mother's life and Patterns in the Sand picks up the story one year after her death so ideally they are best read in succession. I lost my father at the age of 14 and was impressed with the author's intuitive writing style. Tony's emotional rollercoaster is very believable. Brought up as a Christian, he burns with anger towards the God who has taken his mum from him. Happily though he eventually rediscovers faith.
The Christian thread through both books is thoughtfully written and so would be ideal for non-Christians to read. I would happily recommend them, when appropriate, to my patients. Both books though do contain mild swear words and sexual references and so may not be suitable for younger children.