If there is a silver lining in our current situation it’s that I get to catch up with my ever growing “TBR – To Be Read” list. When the White Pine nominees are announced each year I do my best to read everything on the list but invariably there is always one that ends up slipping through the cracks. Well, this week I finally got to catch up with my missing title: We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra.
Who writes letters anymore? Certainly not high school students. Well, not unless they are forced to as part of an English class assignment. We Contain Multitudes is about two reluctant pen pals who form an unlikely connection.
Adam “Kurl” Kurlansky is a beloved football star who is repeating classes in his senior year. Always serious, he never lets a hint of emotion show on his face.
Jonathon Hopkirk is a hard-core Walt Whitman fanboy who dresses in tweed blazers and floral print shirts. An easy target for bullies, Jonathon wears his emotions on his sleeve.
The story is written entirely in epistle format with each character responding to the other as per the assignment requirements. But as time goes on they become more comfortable with each other, they start revealing parts of their inner most selves. When Jonathon mentions he’s gay he fully expects things to get “weird” between them but Adam isn’t fazed in the least.
The character development in this book is phenomenal. You would expect Adam to be the stereotypical jock but his character contains so much raw emotion that he keeps buried within himself. It only bleeds out in his letters to Jonathon. I was an emotional wreck while reading this – the up and downs of their journey had me happy, sad and every other feeling in between. It is certainly a book full of depth and discovery.
— Lesley L.