Hello everyone, I hope you aren’t too upset over the last post. The loss of a mother at any age can be traumatic and unbearably sad. I had read Margot & me after I read quite a few books on losing a mother to an illness of some kind, and in each one, the young daughter’s emotions and experiences are similar. I hope you like these few I found on this theme. Be prepared with tissues!
Title: Dandelion Clocks
Author: Rebecca Westcott
Genre: Fiction – contemporary
Publication details: Puffin; London, 2014
What this book is about: We meet young Liv as she takes us on a journey through her life from “Thirteen Weeks Before” to “Six Months After”. We discover Liv’s passion for photography, her brother’s obsession with sticking to the rules, and how the family copes as Mum’s terminal illness takes hold. Guided by Mum’s own childhood diaries, Liv finds a new way to live. This book is real, funny, utterly touching and absolutely heartwarming. Despite the sadness at the heart of the story, every reader will laugh and keep on turning the pages, charmed by Liv and her mum.
My review: A poignant and sad story of losing a parent to a terminal illness and the grief that follows. What it must feel for someone so young to lose a parent must be so gut-wrenching and difficult. Rebecca Westcott portrayed the emotions of young Liv and her family brilliantly in this book. A story of a young girl and her mother. Very well written. Keep tissues ready!!
My rating: 4 ⭐
Title: The island at the end of everything
Author: Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Genre: Fiction – historical
Publication details: Chicken House; UK, 2017
What this book is about: Ami lives with her sick mother on an island where the sea is as blue as the sky. It’s all she knows and loves, but the arrival of a cruel government official, Mr Zamora, changes her world for ever. Her island is to become a colony for sufferers of leprosy. Banished to an orphanage across the water, Ami meets a honey-eyed girl named for butterflies, and together they set out to find a way back home to the island at the end of everything.
My review: Although it took me a few days to get into, once I was riding the waves from Culion to Coron with my heart pounding with fear for young Ami, I knew I had to finish it. Although it tells of millions of lovely butterflies and the way a terrible disease was misunderstood and mistreated, it’s mostly about an incredible journey and how love can make a difference to a group of children who have to fight for their beliefs. For me, the heart of the story is about a young girl’s relationship with her ailing mother and of her life afterwards. Some mesmerizing writing here. Based on a real place, Culion Island in the Philippines was the world’s largest leper colony between 1906 and 1998. I learned quite a bit from this book about leprosy, it’s impact and the perceptions of it back then.
My rating: 4 ⭐
Additional notes: This title has won the Sheffield Children’s Book Awards for Longer Novels Category in 2018, and nominated for both the Costa Book Award for Children and the Blue Peter Book Awards in 2017.