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Friday, 17 June 2016

The Museum of You Review



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.


Wow!! What a read!!  Very difficult to sum it up after such a stunning read! I should just say - go buy it and read it for yourself!!

It's a very simple story of Clover and her father, Darren and how their lives continue after the death of Clover's mother.  She doesn't remember her mum, and her dad is still reluctant to talk about her much after the sadness that it has caused him, so they both keep a lot of their feelings from each other really well hidden.  Darren is a bus driver, and now that Clover is 12 she has found herself with more time  on her own  while her Dad is out working and she has extra responsibilities - mainly looking after the family allotment.  The attention to detail in describing something as simple as watering plants and their care is how the book starts and it just had me hooked!

Clover also loves museums and is fascinated by history and the items on display whenever she visits a museum.  She soon feels brave enough to start sorting through some of her mothers' things, treating them like an exhibit and trying to construct stories around them as to who her mother was, how she behaved, what she thought etc   When she tries on a pair of high heels she finds to see if she can 'feel' like her mother would have it was such a sweet and tender moment, and this happens quite a lot throughout the book as she tries to gain insights from other family members and people who knew her mother.

We also hear the fathers side of the struggle in raising a daughter by himself and all that entails, as well as dealing with ill health in his family and the support system he receives from friends.

I was utterly captivated by this book - full of sadness but also hope and humour and I can't recommend it highly enough!! One of my best reads of the year so far!

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