The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss
Review by M
The Year of the Rat is a tragic tearjerker with a little light breathing space for smiles inbetween.
Just before her A-levels, Pearl’s mother dies from pregnancy and childbirth complications. Pearl and her stepfather are left to deal with their grief alongside the care of the premature ‘rat’, Rose. Pearl doesn’t cope very well with this at all and the only person she finds she can turn to is…her mother.
Despite its heavy and real world subject matter (including pre-eclampsia and post-natal depression), The Year of the Rat is a light read with a heartwarming tone. In a relatively familiar plot, an endearing mother-daughter relationship made this a compulsive read that flows easily. Be prepared for tears.
The Year of the Rat reminded me of a novel by Jane Green that I read shortly after having had a baby. It also reminded me of Roddy Doyle’s A Greyhound of a Girl. I think The Year of The Rat will hit a soft spot for many readers, both teens and adults alike. I think that's me recommending it!
Publication details: Simon and Schuster, 24 April 2014, London, hardbackThis copy: uncorrected proof for review