Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses #1) – Malorie Blackman

Published December 14, 2014 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society.

Sephy is a Cross — a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought — a “colourless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood, but that’s as far as it can go. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum — a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together?

What did I think?:

I am ashamed to say that even though Malorie Blackman is our Children’s Laureate in the UK until 2015, this is the first of her books I have read. She first came on my radar earlier this year with all the buzz around the first Young Adult Literary Convention which she organised and I attended and had a really great time. I’m happy to say that I’ve now been bitten by the Blackman bug as this book was truly fantastic and I can’t wait to continue the series. The novel is set in a world where individuals are divided into two classes on the basis of their skin colour. The Crosses are the elite, ruling class and are dark-skinned and the Noughts (or “no colour”) are the white subservient class who at one time, were slaves to the Crosses. Slavery has been abolished, but racial prejudice still runs high. The Crosses get the top jobs, the best pay etc whereas the Crosses tend to do more menial labours that require little/no education. It is only recently that Noughts have started allowing Crosses to enter their system for a better schooling yet there are no guarantees that they will be employed, especially if the employer is a Cross.

Our two main characters are Sephy and Callum who have been inseparable best friends since childhood even though Sephy is a Cross and Callum is a Nought. As they continue to grow up their feelings for each other change and they begin to fall in love. Unfortunately, this coincides with both teenagers becoming more aware of the differences between them and a heightened racial prejudice being reported in the media. For example, the idea of a Nought and a Cross becoming a couple is seen as despicable in most quarters. Furthermore, Callum who has been accepted to a high class Cross school, is in the obvious minority and suffers from physical attacks and taunts on a daily basis, sometimes shockingly, from the teachers. Fed up with being a second class citizen, Callum does not know where to turn and even Sephy cannot fully understand what he is going through, being a rich Cross who is chauffeur-driven to school due to her father being a rising and popular politician. Callum’s brother has decided to channel his hatred in a different manner – by joining the Liberation Militia, a Nought group fighting back against racial prejudice, but often in violent and almost terrorist ways. Callum has never condoned violence and is filled with hatred for what his brother does, but during his day to day life, he is becoming more isolated and is distancing himself from Sephy, afraid of what will happen if their two worlds collide. Sephy herself becomes increasingly desperate, not knowing how to reach out to Callum but is certain that they are meant to be together.

This was such a powerful book that affected me on so many levels. It’s almost like a modern day or dystopian Romeo and Juliet love story – ah, the star crossed lovers that can’t be together! Malorie Blackman has put her own magical spin on it however with the main theme being racial prejudice, that is just as heart-breaking and passionate as Shakespeare’s original story. I don’t think she had any motive in turning things round so that it was dark-skinned individuals who had the upper hand. In fact, I think she was making a general statement that racial prejudice of any kind against any person of any colour is fundamentally wrong and should not be tolerated. Sadly, there are still some deluded individuals out there who can’t quite understand this… Anyway, I absolutely loved the characters, the excitement of the plot, the suspense element and the (my mouth is gaping wide open right now) ending. This is a series with so much potential and from a talented author such as Malorie Blackman, I think it’s going to go really, really far.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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Short Stories Challenge – The Common Enemy by Natasha Cooper from the collection The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime Volume 7

Published December 12, 2014 by bibliobeth

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What’s The Common Enemy all about?:

The Common Enemy looks at the things that irritate us the most, yet when something terrible happens we may appreciate how lucky we are and how trivial those matters can be.

What did I think?:

For my Short Story Challenge, I’m rotating a number of collections around in sequence to try and get a bit more appreciation for the genre. So when I knew The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime (Volume 7) was coming around, I have to admit I sighed and rolled my eyes a bit as, to be honest, I haven’t been that impressed with the stories so far. I’m so glad I persevered with this collection as Natasha Cooper’s short story The Common Enemy really knocked my socks off. The story opens with an average couple, Dan and Sue Chalmers who are watching the News at Ten when they hear some noise from some teenagers outside. Sue seems to be livid with rage and we get the feeling that this is a common occurrence where they live. Even the gentle touch of her husband’s hand against her head does not ease her tension but when she listens to the newsreader talking about the problems in the Middle East she feels a bit chastised for getting so wound up about a bit of noise. After a little while, the noise ceases and Sue can hear the more familiar sound of her neighbour, Maggie Tulloch walking home from work whom she admires for being a probation officer and:

“trying to make her clients behave like human beings instead of filthy, thieving thugs.

Sue notices that Maggie’s footsteps seem to drag more than usual and she would be right. Maggie is having quite a tough time at home and tries to delay her arrival by any possible means, even if it means working late. When Maggie’s father died, Maggie invited her mother to move in with her, believing it would do them both some good. Her mum would have the company and Maggie would get some much needed help as she was raising her child, Gemma as a single parent. Now Gemma is fifteen and Maggie is regretting that decision enormously. Her mother is over-critical of everything she does, including how she brings up her daughter but she also criticises her personally e.g. wardrobe, eating habits – basically, she cannot do anything right and it’s really bringing her down.

That’s about all I’m going to say plot-wise because something happens that throws everything into disarray and changes lives for good. (Apologies too for the very vague synopsis). While I was reading this I actually missed my stop on the bus because I was so engrossed in the story! Furthermore, it’s not so much the turn of events that blew my mind but the way in which it ended. Shocking, thrilling and completely unputdownable, this story made my heart race and my eyes pop. I would have loved a little background information about the author in this collection as I haven’t read any of her work before but believe me, I’m going to now. If you get a chance to read this story please do and let me know what you think! Pure brilliance.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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NEXT SHORT STORY: Note To Sixth-Grade Self by Julie Orringer from the collection How To Breathe Underwater

Ignite Me – Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me #3)

Published December 9, 2014 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love.”

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.

What did I think?:

Ignite Me is the final book in the Shatter Me trilogy, a series I was unsure of at the start but I have to admit, Tahereh Mafi has totally won me over with her excellent writing, a sensational plot and intriguing characters. As the novel begins, the Omega Point headquarters has been destroyed through the war with The Re-establishment. Our main character Juliette has no idea how many of her friends are alive, if any. This is particularly crucial to her as one of the most important people in her life so far, Adam, was known to have been fighting in the skirmish. She also worries about a close friend she has made, Kenji as there has also been no contact from him. Kenji has to be one of my favourite characters in the series, he has some terrific one-liners, but underneath his bold and brash ways, you can tell he really is a good egg with a heart of gold. His interactions with Juliette made fantastic reading, whether it was something emotional (yes, he does have hidden depths!) or joking around – his forte. It was also nice to see that Kenji wasn’t one-dimensional in the slightest, and did have some vulnerability where he could get tired, stressed, hurt etc.

One of the other characters that has had an exponential coming of age journey is obviously our main character, Juliette. From that frightened little girl locked in a cell in the Re-establishment with only some paper, a pen, lots of “crossings out,” and her thoughts for company, we now see a mature, sensible and determined young woman who is prepared for whatever life may throw at her. She has had to undergo more than her fair share of trials and heart-ache and of course, still suffers from the occasional crisis of confidence but has grown up a hell of a lot and has become a strong role model for others. Learning to control her powers has been a large part of her development and in this novel, we learn just how far Juliette’s gifts will reach and when they need to be reined in.

I was a little disappointed with Adam in this final novel, not in the way in which the character was written but in his attitudes and reactions to Juliette and even the rest of his group. At the end of the day though, I think he should be given some leeway – like many of the other characters he has suffered a lot and continues to suffer through this last book. And there’s only so much bruising a person can take, right? On the other end of the scale lies Warner, enigmatic and smooth as always but like Kenji and Adam, we also get to see his vulnerable side which I really loved. He plays a vital role in this novel as the rebels try to take down The Re-establishment and their rotten regime once and for all.

I’ve deliberately tried to write this review without any spoilers so if anyone hasn’t started the series so far, they won’t be disappointed. If you haven’t though, I urge you to start! Tahereh Mafi writes such beautiful, descriptive prose that it is a joy to read and she has a sneaky way of letting her characters get under your skin. Yes, the ending felt slightly rushed but I thought it was a perfect finale to a fantastic series. I can’t wait to see what she writes next and I’ll definitely be pre-ordering a copy.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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Dreams & Shadows – C. Robert Cargill

Published December 8, 2014 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

It begins with a love story. A love that is almost too sweet, too perfect. From that love comes a child. Love is wonderful.
Until someone unspeakably vile scuttles out of the shadows and steals the child away. Leaving a changeling in its place.
But this is no ordinary fairy tale…
C. Robert Cargill has written a modern American tale. A tale that twines the real world with the supernatural. A tale of faerie changed. Faerie that has danced alongside our world.
It is a realm that we visit with two boys. It is a dark, dark place to grow up.

What did I think?:

I had never heard of this book until I visited the wonderful Mr B’s Emporium in Bath and it was one of the recommendations as part of my Reading Spa. As soon as I saw the cover I was instantly excited, ever more so when I read the synopsis of the novel. There are many weird and wonderful fairy-tale and magical characters but beware, this is definitely not a story for younger readers. The book maps the journey of two young boys, Ewan and Colby from their childhood where the magic first begins to an incredibly messed up adulthood, where the magic just won’t stay away.

The book begins “once upon a time,” as all good fairy tales should, however, I’ve already mentioned that this story is a bit different compared to your average fairy story and the author proceeds  to shatter a family’s life by replacing baby Ewan, (who makes his parents deliriously happy by the way) with a Changeling – the work of some very naughty fairies. The eight year old Colby in contrast, first comes across this strange world on one of his jaunts into the woods when his mother is having (ahem!) “visitors.” He is given strict orders not to come back before a certain time and in general, is largely ignored and emotionally abused. Meeting a djinn (genie) called Yashar seems like the perfect opportunity to turn his life around for the better, especially as Yashar is obliged to give him three wishes. One of his wishes is to be able to see everything supernatural in the faerie kingdom and beyond, one wish that he may live to regret.

On entering the kingdom, Colby meets Ewan who has been raised by the fairies after being snatched from his family. The two children, along with a faerie called Mallaidh soon become fast friends and enjoy many happy hours playing within the kingdom. All this jollity cannot last long in a tale as dark as this, and Ewan soon relies on Colby to save his life, returning him to the world of man. In the second half of the book, we meet Colby in adulthood, who has become disenchanted and world-weary. He is struggling to make a career as a musician without much luck and is tired of the supernatural world that he encounters on a daily basis. It soon becomes clear that what happened between Ewan and Colby in childhood has affected the faerie kingdom permanently. War looms, violence is plotted and Colby is soon in grave danger of losing his life. This is where some of the more dark and twisted elements of the story come into play. First of all, we have Knocks the changeling who was the substitution for Ewan when the faeries came to take him away. Believe me, Knocks is not impressed with being removed from the faeries and makes it his mission to destroy Ewan in whatever way possible. You think faeries are lovely? Think again. These faeries are ruthless, tricky, blood-thirsty, always with a hidden agenda. If Ewan is going to fight against the faerie kingdom, he has to use all his strength and cunning (and maybe a few supernatural friends of his own) otherwise things could go very badly, very quickly.

I really loved this book and found myself caught up in the author’s obviously vivid and superb imagination in creating this dark fairy tale world. The monsters and beastly creatures are amazing but my favourite character was probably Yashar the genie as we got to hear a lot of his back story making it almost like a fairy tale within a fairy tale if that makes any sense! Some of the scenes in the book wouldn’t be out of place on the big screen, and as there is quite a lot of violence and gore, I probably wouldn’t recommend it to those of us who have a weak stomach. I’m very excited also to learn that this book will be part of a series and on the strength of this book, I’ve already got the paperback pre-ordered and ready to go. A big thank you has to go to Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath for recommending me this fabulous read.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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Short Stories Challenge – The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft from the collection The Definitive H.P. Lovecraft

Published December 7, 2014 by bibliobeth

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What’s The Call Of Cthulhu all about?:

The Call of Cthulhu tells the story of a man who when searching through his deceased uncle’s belongings, finds a wealth of information on a cult that is so terrifying that he wishes he had never read the papers in the first place.

What did I think?:

This is the fourth story that I have read in the Lovecraft collection, and like the others, it begins with a male unnamed narrator who is searching through the papers of his recently deceased uncle. What he finds there both surprises and shocks him as his uncle seems to have been hiding an immense secret that, on reflection, should stay hidden as long as possible, as the consequences of that knowledge seems to lie in death for the owner. The Call of Cthulhu is made up of a few different parts that link together as a whole, and as a result, seems to feel a lot longer than the typical Lovecraft short story. The first part, entitled The Horror In Clay, describes the unexpected death of the narrator’s great-uncle, Professor Angell, an expert in ancient inscriptions. As our narrator begins to work through his documents, he finds a box which appears to have been locked twice, as if no-one should ever be able to open it. Sadly, our narrator’s curiosity wins the day, and on opening the box he finds a queer clay object with extensive hieroglyphics and a sculpted figure which can only be described as a monstrosity. The writings that accompany the object are disjointed, rambling and disturbing and refer to a CTHULHU CULT with extensive notes on two other gentleman, Wilcox and Legrasse.

This part of the story then focuses on Wilcox, a young man who brings the mentioned sculpture to the Professor in order that he may decipher the hieroglyphics. The Professor notes that Wilcox appears dreamy and confused and confesses to making the sculpture himself after dreaming the previous night of old cities, strange words (Cthulhu fhtagn) and:

“a gigantic thing “miles high” which walked or lumbered about.”

Wilcox later succumbs to a period of delirium to which he is bed-bound and on further enquiry, the Professor discovers that other men across the country have had similar dreams, vivid and stronger at the height of Wilcox’s delirium. Stranger still, a large proportion of these men report similar images and sounds to Wilcox, with an acute fear of the gigantic nameless thing, leading to one man going violently insane screaming to be saved from some “escaped denizen of hell.” The press cuttings that the Professor has kept show similar and worrying incidents across the globe, some cases even resulting in suicide.

The second part of the story is entitled The Tale of Inspector Legrasse where the Professor’s notes speak of a police officer who is in possession of a strange statuette, seized in a raid on a voodoo meeting in the swamps of New Orleans. Legrasse hopes to get some answers about the old relic, in hopes of tracing a supposed cult to their beginnings. Again, the figure represents a hideous monster and cryptic writing that does not seem to have any origins in the history of civilisation. The professor again notices similarities between the idol that the cult worships and the strange language that they speak which can be translated to:

“In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”

The Inspector begins to tell his tale of coming across a band of worshippers practicing a voodoo more evil than has ever been seen and with the power to drive a man insane. On interrogation, the imprisoned members of the cult speak of  the Great Old Ones whose dead bodies told their secrets by dreams to man to form a cult all over the world until the time when Cthulhu would arise from his mighty city under the waters and once again control the earth. The matter of the cult fascinates our narrator and he decides to investigate further, certain that there must be a plausible explanation for everything. After discovering the terror that plagued a crew of sailors in The Madness from the Sea, by meeting with the sailors themselves (well, those who survived anyway) and also talking at length with Wilcox, the original study of his great-uncle, he begins to fear and believe the worst. He now realises that the Professor’s death was not entirely natural and knowledge such as he now possesses means that he too, may be not long for this world.

I have to admit that this story probably isn’t my favourite in the bunch so far but it is hugely fascinating. I enjoyed the way in which Lovecraft divided the story into different parts which all appeared to come together so seamlessly to tell the story of Cthulhu. As with the other Lovecraft stories I have read, there is no overt horror and a lot of things are implied, leaving the readers imagination to run riot. Personally, I didn’t find it as eerie as his other stories but he did manage to bring a little shiver down my spine with the rich vocabulary he uses to describe monstrous beings. It’s definitely a story that you can read with the light on but I think you will still be mulling it over for a while once finished.

Would I recommend it?:

Maybe!

Star rating (out of 5):

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NEXT SHORT STORY: The Common Enemy by Natasha Cooper from the collection The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime Volume 7.

The Turn Of The Screw – Henry James

Published December 6, 2014 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

The story starts conventionally enough with friends sharing ghost stories ’round the fire on Christmas Eve. One of the guests tells about a governess at a country house plagued by supernatural visitors. But in the hands of Henry James, the master of nuance, this little tale of terror is an exquisite gem of sexual and psychological ambiguity. Only the young governess can see the ghosts; only she suspects that the previous governess and her lover are controlling the two orphaned children (a girl and a boy) for some evil purpose. The household staff don’t know what she’s talking about, the children are evasive when questioned, and the master of the house (the children’s uncle) is absent. Why does the young girl claim not to see a perfectly visible woman standing on the far side of the lake? Are the children being deceptive, or is the governess being paranoid? By leaving the questions unanswered, The Turn of Screw generates spine-tingling anxiety in its mesmerized readers.

What did I think?:

The Turn Of The Screw was originally published in 1898 and can be described as “a gothic ghost story novella.” The author, Henry James, an American-born author was at the forefront of writing “different” novels in this period where he explored interior monologue, unreliable narrators and consciousness. He is probably best known for this novella and for his novel The Portrait Of A Lady, which I am yet to read. This tale opens on a group of friends who are sharing ghost stories one evening and The Turn Of The Screw is one of the stories which is offered up by a gentleman who promises to chill and delight the group. The story is narrated from the point of view of our main character, a young woman who is taking up the post of a governess to look after two children in a secluded country home. She is interviewed by the uncle who takes responsibility (but not TOO much responsibility, he enjoys his life in London too much for that!) for his nephew and niece, Miles and Flora after the death of their parents.

The governess is quite taken with her employer and is excited, albeit a little anxious to take up her new role. On meeting the children however, it seems she has nothing to worry about. Miles and Flora are angelic, adorable and affectionate children who immediately put the governess at ease as she begins to relax into her position. But of course, all is not as it seems, and strange things begin happening within the property. Miles returns home earlier than expected, expelled from his school with a letter from his headmaster stating that fact. Unfortunately, he will not talk about the reason behind his expulsion and the governess who finds herself utterly charmed by the boy, lets the matter lie. Then she begins to see two strange presences who keep appearing and disappearing in different places in the property. The children claim not to see them when questioned, however the governess begins to find it hard to believe them and incidents occur that leave her wondering if they are quite so angelic as they seem. Who are the spirits and what are their purposes? Is there real “evil” in the house or even in the children? Or is everything a complete figment of the governess’ imagination? The author has us wondering right until the end of the story – which is also completely ambiguous, leaving the reader to make up their own mind.

I was very excited going into this story, having heard it hailed as one of the best (and scariest) ghost stories of all time. Apologies to anyone who loves this book, but I was bitterly disappointed. Sure, there were a couple of eerie moments and I think Henry James drew the reader in with some fascinating characterisation of the children, but I’ve read scarier and better (The Woman In Black by Susan Hill, for example). I found the opening of the story, where friends are telling each other thrilling tales very dull and the entire way through it felt like I was just waiting for it to get better. The rating I have given it is based on the strength of the writing and beauty of the vocabulary alone, I’m afraid The Turn In The Screw just wasn’t for me. This may be because I had already over-hyped it in my own mind, or perhaps I didn’t appreciate the subtle nuances of the tale enough. If you agree or disagree with me, let me know! It’s definitely a good book for discussion if nothing else.

Would I recommend it?:

Probably not.

Star rating (out of 5):

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Talking About The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman with Chrissi

Published December 5, 2014 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

The name of your first-born. The face of your lover. Your age. Your address…

What would happen if your memory of these began to fade?

Is it possible to rebuild your life? Raise a family? Fall in love again?

When Claire starts to write her Memory Book, she already knows that this scrapbook of mementoes will soon be all her daughters and husband have of her. But how can she hold on to the past when her future is slipping through her fingers…?

Original, heartwarming and uplifting, The Memory Book is perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

What did WE think?:

CHRISSI: The Memory Book is described in reviews as ‘life affirming’. Do you agree with this and if so why?
BETH: One hundred percent. It is definitely life affirming but in such a bitter sweet way. Our main character is Claire who has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. She has two daughters, an older girl Caitlin from a previous relationship who she brought up alone, not telling the father about the pregnancy. Now she is married to Greg, the love of her life and has had a daughter with him Esther who is still very young. The bitter sweet part is that the Alzheimer’s is progressing more quickly than her family had expected, to a point where she is not safe left on her own. She begins to make a memory book to try and capture old memories so that they cannot be forgotten. There is no magical cure for her illness so there’s not going to be a happy ending but the story makes you think about how lucky you are to be alive and well in comparison and to live life to the fullest.
BETH: Discuss the relationship between Claire and Greg.
CHRISSI: I found the relationship incredibly moving between Claire and Greg. It was so hard to read about their relationship unravelling before their eyes. It must be incredibly hard for both sufferer and partner to deal with this horrible disease. Claire knew that she loved Greg at some point, but she couldn’t help the way the disease was making her feel. I thought it was particularly hard to read how Greg had to deal with ‘losing’ his wife so quickly. *gets all choked up*
CHRISSI: This book has been compared to Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You. This is one of our favourite books. Did the comparison affect your preconceptions of The Memory Book?
BETH: I always hate when books are compared to other books that I love! (A similar thing is happening with Gone Girl at the moment). However, I tried to ignore the hype monster, put JoJo Moyes book to the back of my mind and just enjoy the story that I was reading. It has a similar message sure, but I think it stands alone as a great story in its own right.
BETH: What did you think of Claire’s decision not to tell Caitlin who her father was?
CHRISSI: Oh gosh! That’s such a hard question. I think that except for exceptional circumstances that everyone deserves to know who their father is. It’s a part of them. I could totally understand Claire’s reasons why, but it really did make things hard in the long run for Caitlin and her father.
CHRISSI: Discuss the mother/daughter relationships in the book.
BETH: We have a few mother/daughter relationships in the novel. There’s Claire’s mother Ruth who has already nursed her own husband through Alzheimer’s disease until he died. Ruth and Claire have a bit of a fiery relationship as Claire is a strong and independent woman who when the disease hits, is finding it difficult to be taken care of and starts to resent her mother monitoring her so closely, even though she is doing it purely out of love. I enjoyed watching the relationship change between these two characters throughout the book, it was truly heart-warming. Then we have Claire’s relationships with her two daughters Esther and Caitlin. In her relationship with Esther, she becomes frustrated when she cannot read to her any more but ends up spending a lot of time with her doing fun things like escaping to the park and trying to cook – which ends in disaster! With Caitlin, it’s a bit more difficult, she has her own secrets and is finding the burden of knowing that she will have to care for her mother and that her mother will slowly forget her very difficult to take on.
BETH: Discuss how Greg copes with what is happening to Claire.
CHRISSI: *gets choked up again* I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to deal with someone you love having this terrible disease. It really does destroy the person that used to be, and to watch someone you love have to go through that… it must be awful. I think Greg copes well considering what he is dealing with. You can feel his sadness and his detachment from his family. There are twists and turns in the story but I don’t want to spoil it for those that haven’t read it yet!
CHRISSI: Do you think this book is sensitive enough to the disease?
BETH: Definitely. I think it was portrayed very well. I was quite tentative when I was reading this novel, as Alzheimer’s and dementia are one of my worst fears. However, as Claire slips a bit further the author even manages to bring a bit of humour into situations that Claire finds herself in that were “sad-funny,” which I appreciated.
BETH: Would you read another book by this author?
CHRISSI: Most definitely. A beautiful writer!
Would WE recommend it?:
BETH: But of course!
CHRISSI: Without a doubt!
BETH’s Star rating (out of 5):
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CHRISSI’s Star rating (out of 5):
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