Friday, November 17, 2017

Life on the Refrigerator Door

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 2:00 PM

Age: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars

Helen Thinks: Life on the Refrigerator Door is a novel told solely in the scribbled notes between a Mother and her daughter, Claire, because they keep missing each other due to their busy lives of being a doctor and a teenager. They start as simple notes such as Mum reminding her daughter to pick up groceries or to clean out Peter, their pet Rabbit’s cage, or Claire telling her Mum she was babysitting or that she had passed a test but then one day the notes take a more serious turn... Mum has found a lump in her breast so she has to make a doctor’s appointment to get it checked out. Through note form, we see the strain this new development has on their relationship as well as Claire struggling with being a young teenager.

Life on the Refrigerator Door is a fast, easy read that follows a whole new layout which makes it stand out in the crowd. How Kuipers manages to make the audience feel so much empathy towards the characters when all we’re really getting is snapshots through handwritten notes left on a refrigerator is fantastic. I felt the hurt as young Claire realised her Mum was really sick, the distress the Mum had at telling Claire about the lump as well as feeling extremely irritated by Claire’s bratty teenage behaviour when she was being moody and self-absorbed; which is how most teenagers are and it was written superbly.

My only issue with this novel is that despite the quirky and unique layout is I can’t quite grasp the idea of a Mother and daughter having such personal and serious discussions over note form! Grocery list. Sure. Clean out the rabbit. Sure. Mum, I’m babysitting tonight. Great. The idea that the news of Mum having a lump in her breast and it turning out to be cancer was discussed in such an impersonal way kind of irked me but it did deliver a story that could have been cliche in a whole new format and for that I applaud Kuipers.

So make a note to yourself and add this book to your ‘to be read’ pile!


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