Saturday 22 October 2016

The Museum of You - Carys Bray

Clover Quinn was a surprise. She used to imagine she was the good kind, now she’s not sure. She’d like to ask Dad about it, but growing up in the saddest chapter of someone else’s story is difficult. She tries not to skate on the thin ice of his memories. 

Darren has done his best. He's studied his daughter like a seismologist on the lookout for waves and surrounded her with everything she might want - everything he can think of, at least - to be happy.

What Clover wants is answers. This summer, she thinks she can find them in the second bedroom, which is full of her mother's belongings. Volume isn't important, what she is looking for is essence; the undiluted bits: a collection of things that will tell the full story of her mother, her father and who she is going to be. 

But what you find depends on what you're searching for.

What did I think?

I have just been utterly charmed by Carys Bray.  This is the most lyrical and honest story of a young girl who just wants to find out more about the mother she never knew.  It pulled every single one of my heartstrings and I found it to be quite beautiful and poignant, with many unexpected laugh out loud moments.

Clover has visited many museums in her short life and she gets the idea to create exhibits of her mother's possessions so she can find out more about her.  Clover's mother, Becky, died when she was a baby so she is being brought up by her dad, Darren.  Clover herself made a surprise entrance into the world as Becky didn't even know she was pregnant.  Darren hasn't been able to part with any of Becky's things so Clover goes through them, without Darren's knowledge, to choose her prize exhibits.

This book really is more about feelings than events and Clover buried herself into my heart as each page turned.  I also have a special place reserved for Mrs Mackerel, Clover's neighbour.  She shouts all the IMPORTANT words but often gets her sayings all mixed up like looking in a HAYSTACK full of NEEDLES.  I knew I was going to love Mrs Mackerel as one of the early lines was about Mrs Mackerel lending Catherine Cookson books to her friend and telling each other which supermarkets have gin on special offer.  I wouldn't mind a friend like that myself.

I know A Song for Issy Bradley was one of the big hits of 2015, so after reading The Museum of You I can definitely see why there was so much excitement about Carys Bray's debut.  I plan to add A Song for Issy Bradley to my book wishlist and if it's half as good as The Museum of You, it'll be a winner.

I received this e-book from the publisher, RandomHouse UK, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:

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