My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 2 days
Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton
Pages - 230
Blurb from Goodreads
Minnie has always lived with her sister Clara in her family's beautiful, grand, yet increasingly dilapidated house Rosemount. Now in her seventies, she finds herself looking back to a life that has been shrouded with sorrow, and a painful secret that she has guarded since her teens.
Eleven-year-old Max, who lives opposite Minnie on the housing estate built in Rosemount's grounds, has grown up happily with his single mother. But his mum has begun a new relationship and suddenly life is starting to change.
As each of them tell their stories, she via a resurrected childhood journal, him via a Dictaphone, they spot each other through their bedroom windows and slowly and hesitantly an unlikely friendship begins to form.
A friendship that might just help Max come to terms with the present and enable Minnie, finally, to lay to rest the ghosts of her past...
Two main characters, Minnie is a seventy year old lady who has sequestered herself away in her home with her sister. Little Max is eleven, trying to come to terms with the new man in his mothers life and how his home and everything he knows is changing. Both catalogue their emotions and feelings in different mediums, Minnie in a written diary and Max on a Dictaphone, these two unlikely individuals form a friendship that helps the other cope and face the challenges in their lives.
This is a beautiful tale of an unlikely friendship, how both characters have suffered and have to face the obstacles that bar their happiness. There are some themes that are quite uncomfortable reading in the book, abuse, neglect, abuse of power however there are some beautiful and uplifting ones too. Friendship in the most unlikely of places that brings together two unhappy people, each dealing with their own turmoil, finding in each other happiness and strength to face their own demons.
Each chapter is headlined with the character it is centred on and alternates between the two, the chapters are relatively short in length. The writing itself en captures the reader quickly and draws you into the characters lives. Whilst Max and Minnie are characters you quickly warm to, Max's mother and her boyfriend quite often made for very uncomfortable reading. Overall it is a riveting wee read, happiness, sadness, secrets and some tough aspects covered with a beautiful tale of friendship. This was my first time reading this author and it won't be my last 4/5 for me this time.