BOOK REVIEW – The Year of The Rat by Clare Furniss

This is one of the most refreshing books I’ve read in some months. It is not normally something that I would pick up, but I was intrigued by the story and I always like to read an author’s first offering if possible, so this was a no-brainer for me really. We start by learning that Pearl (a young teenage girl) has fairly recently lost her mother during childbirth, which has left her living with her step-father and newly-born baby sister. Her sister is not someone that she even wants to attempt to get to know or even see, as she, in Pearl’s eyes, is the source of all her anguish and despair due to her mother’s death ‘because‘ of her.

I won’t go into any further detail about that particular relationship, but ‘The Rat’ really is the source of Pearl’s depression and the story unfolds around that relationship and how Pearl is now going to deal with the given situation.

With a little help from a familiar face, Pearl learns to come to terms with her loss, eventually, and begins to try and move on with her new life. Exceptionally well written, again especially from a debut author, and extremely emotional in parts (I foolishly read the end of the book on my break in the staff room at work), it will no doubt ignite some sort of feelings within you- good or bad. The characters are well developed and the friendships and romance that Pearl does allow during the story are meaningful and well told. Very difficult to put down and easy to read in one or two sittings if you invest that time in the book.

Certainly an author that I’ll be looking out for in the future.

Buy from
Hardback is out on 24/04/2014 from Simon & Schuster Children’s Books
ISBN: 9781471120275



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