Rating: 5 STARS
How I got this book: Birthday gift
This powerful debut novel delicately blurs the line between truth and fiction as Carol unravels the fantastical stories of her mentally ill grandfather. When she and her family move to his deserted ranch in order to transfer him to a care home, Carol struggles to cope with the suffocating heat and the effects of her grandfather's dementia. Bees seem to be following her around, but the drought means this is impossible. She must be imagining things. Yet when her grandfather chooses her as the subject for his stories – tales of a magical healing tree, a lake, and the grandmother she never knew – Carol sees glimmers of something special in what her parents dismiss as Serge's madness. As she rethinks her roots and what she thought she knew about her family, Carol comes to the realization that Serge's past is quickly catching up with her present. A stunning coming-of-age story.
TW: Mental Illness (Dementia), Grief
This book was chosen as our very first Turn The Page book club read, and you can catch our chat about this book on Tuesday 14th July 2020. You can also join in our Twitter book club chat on Friday 17th July 2020 (just use #TTPBookChat)
I want to start by saying that I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did.
I purposefully didn't find anything out about this book aside from the blurb on the back cover, and so I didn't even know what genre this book was, which I'm actually really glad for because I had no idea at all what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised.
I did have some issues with this book, mainly with the parents. I mean, first of all, what parent would leave a 12-year-old child alone with a grandfather she's never met who has severe dementia and a baby?
I understand that the parents were struggling with grief and pain in their own ways, but it just didn't sit well.
For the first couple of chapters, I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy this book, it just didn't 'click' for me until Serge began to tell his story and after that, I was hooked.
I loved how, from this moment, the mystery and magic built quickly until I was fully immersed in the story. In fact, I was so lost in the story that I didn't realise how quickly I was reading it and then all of a sudden I was at the end.
And for once, I was completely and 100% happy with how a story ended! No cliffhangers, just lots of possibilities.
Overall, I was blown away by the quick-pace of this book and the magic-filled family history. I was fully invested in both Carol and Serge's characters and loved their dynamic.
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About Kayleigh (She/Her)
Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
About Sophie (She/Her)
Sophie loves books (obviously). She has a passion for photography and spotting wildlife, and is interested in anything made with passion and creativity.
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5 Stars - AMAZING!!
4.5 Stars - Almost perfect!
4 Stars - I really loved it
3.5 Stars - I liked it alot
3 Stars - I liked it
(I don't typically review books that I rate below 3 stars)
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