Monday, 3 March 2014

The Year of the Rat - Clare Furniss | Review

The world can tip at any moment … a fact that fifteen-year-old Pearl is all too aware of when her mum dies after giving birth to her baby sister. Told across the year following her mother's death, Pearl's story is full of bittersweet humour and heartbreaking honesty about how you deal with grief that cuts you to the bone, as she tries not only to come to terms with losing her mum, but also the fact that her sister - The Rat - is a constant reminder of why her mum is no longer around…
The Year of the Rat is the debut novel by Clare Furniss, a look at grief through the eyes of a bereaved sixteen year old. 

I knew that I would like The Year of the Rat when I cried a few pages in. Nothing particularly sad or bad had happened (apart from the death of Pearl’s mother, but that was a predetermined event just before the book takes place) but all the emotional that the characters were feeling came over me like a wave. Everything Pearl and her family goes through and feels is raw and real and carries you through the story.  

Throughout the book Pearl talks to her mother, who occasionally appears to her. In these appearances Pearl’s mum has gone back to everything she was before she had Rose – before everything so dramatically changed: she no longer has a baby bump, she smokes again, she’s annoying and she’s normal. In the beginning, while Pearl’s grief is so new she screams and shouts for her mother to appear to her. As the book reaches its conclusion her mother appears less and less until Pearl is finally able to let go. This is such a unique illustration of grief and really touched me.

So much admiration has to go to Clare for writing so well, and this is honestly fantastic for a debut novel. I have a feeling big things are coming for her. I have so little to fault this book on, and as soon as it’s out I’m going to be recommending it to everyone I know, teenagers and adults alike. 

Without any doubt it’s 5/5 stars from me.

The Year of the Rat is published on the 24th April.

*I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. A big thank you to Simon & Schuster for the ARC.

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1 comment:

  1. This sounds like such an interesting read - I really like emotive novels, shall pop this on my books list for sure! x