Author: Alice Kuipers
Summary: A novel told in the form of notes left on the refrigerator door between mother and daughter as they deal with “every day” life and the life that happens to you when you least expect it.
Favourite Scene: The novel doesn’t really have “scenes” as it’s told in notes. You can’t really mark the passage of time, though there is some attempt at demonstrating the mother and daughter have met between notes with references to conversations they’ve had.
Favourite Character: Between Claire and her mother, there aren’t many characters to get to know. There are references to friends and other family members, but I especially love Peter – the pet rabbit!
Review: The concept of “a novel in notes” is fantastic and the novel has won the Redbridge Teenage Book Award and been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal. Having been one of those daughters who communicated (and still does!) with her mother through notes on the kitchen bench or refrigerator door, I immediately found the concept appealing and knew it would be a novel to share with Mum. I felt a bit disappointed when I opened the novel, however, and found the text printed neatly across the page, glaringly formal and out of place compared to the hand-drawn images that accompanied it. I thought the design really let the novel down as I imagined seeing actual notes on the pages, scribbled on post-its and torn out notebook pages and blank paper pulled from the printer in a rush … that’s how our notes look, anyway. The actual story that takes place through the notes is touching and tragic, yet I found the notes a little too specific, too much like a narrative and not enough like a note. I enjoyed it, but when I handed it to my mother I didn’t really have anything positive to say other than “this made me think of us”. Sentimental, but it’s not something I feel I can rave about.