Monday, September 10, 2007

Life on the refridgerator door by Alice Kuipers

This novel is uniquely written in a series of notes between mother and daughter that they leave on the refridgerator. The mother is a busy doctor, refrquently on call and delivering babies while the daughter, Claire, is a fifteen-year-old busy with homework, friends, and a new boyfriend. The novel starts out with notes stating where they are, what they need, and catching up on each others' days. Soon though, the mother needs to talk to Claire and it's revealed that the mother has breast cancer. The notes then become filled with the anguish of doctor's visits, teenage angst, and the fear of what may come. As the mother struggles, Claire tries to be a source of strength and the mother tries not to be too much of a burden.

Seeing as this is just a series of notes (it can very easily be read in an hour), it doesn't delve into the full drama of this conflict. That's not to say, though, that it doesn't address the pain and make the reader sympathize for the characters. One thing I liked about it, though, was how much it makes one appreciate the simple moments you get with a loved ones. Claire and her mother couldn't find five minutes to be with each other and even in a time of crisis, it's one note after another. But even though they never saw each other, they managed to keep in touch. In the end, Claire has the memory of passing notes to her mother.

Needless to say, this novel is somewhat of a tear jerker. For someone facing dealing with breast cancer - whether a family member or self, this novel might not be the best read. While it'll make a person want to hold onto every possible moment with the loved one, this isn't an inspiring novel for recovery. It is though, a novel that many can relate to in this fast-paced world where every moment with a loved one is something that should be treasured because life can change in an instant.

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