(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

In Say Goodnight, Gracie, Deaver explores the complex emotions surrounding the death of a close friend. Morgan Hackett and Jimmy Woolf, born within a week of each other to women who were themselves close friends in high school, have been best friends almost since birth. They spend almost all of their free time together, and are supportive of each other's efforts to move into professional careers in the arts. Their intense though platonic relationship has left little room in their lives for other friends; hence, when Jimmy is killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver, seventeen-year-old Morgan struggles to go on alone. Her life has been altered in a way that is difficult for her to accept.

Morgan struggles through the stages of denial and anger, settling into deep depression and rejecting others' efforts to assist her in coping with her loss. Finally, with the help of her very supportive parents and an aunt who is a psychiatrist, Morgan is able to put her life on hold until she comes to terms with Jimmy's death.

(The entire section is 177 words.)