May Children's bookclub choice: The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss

(14 Posts)
Jenni2legs Thu 10-Jul-14 13:35:26

Really great read, one that I would recommend. I will keep this until DS is a teen for him.

emmaMBC Fri 27-Jun-14 10:06:05

The Year of the Rat is a novel that will tug at your heart-strings, no doubt about that whatsoever. It's brilliantly written, with the balance between sentimentality and teenage style realism captured perfectly.

My full review is here

PodeTheBogeySlayer Thu 26-Jun-14 22:59:38

Wow. I loved this book (mine took a while to come through too). I felt it was really well written, the story completely draws you in, I think I finished it within 2 days! The characters are all so realistic and you can relate to at least one of them.

The story is told very sensitively, yet you can feel the anger, the fear and the love as it unfurls. I really came to care about Pearl and the trauma of losing her mother only to be presented with a daily reminder of the reason she died. I cannot imagine what it would be like to go through that sort of loss, but I feel this book has brought me closer to understanding, as she and her emotions are just so real!

As I said, I loved this book and will be recommending it to others.

AugustRose Wed 18-Jun-14 22:33:07

I think this is an excellent book and deals with bereavement and grief in a very honest and realistic way. I was angry along with Pearl that everyone seemed focussed on the baby, making her feel like she was dealing with her mum's death alone. As the book goes on you realise of course that her dad is dealing with his own grief and a premature baby but is thinking of her too. Knowing she is angry at him for so many things that he is not to blame for, but can't tell her without upsetting her further.

I allowed my DD (12) to read it first after we discussed the content and as I was reading another book. I do wish I had read it first as it is a very emotional and upsetting story. However, having suffered two breavements in recent years I am hoping this book will give us an opening for future conversations about those who we love but are no longer here.

This book stands up on it's own but I think it would also be a useful book for young people dealing with grief, to help them understand their own feelings.

Thank you for this book.

donjag Mon 09-Jun-14 20:17:39

Excellent book. Very emotional and very well written. I would recommend it.

katb1973 Mon 02-Jun-14 11:35:19

Thanks Mumsnet, I received my copy last week and have finally finished it. The Year of the Rat is a book for young adults that tells a story, over a year, about loss, grief and difficult ensuing family dynamics. Pearl, loses her Mum in childbirth and gains a premature sister,dubbed 'The Rat'. Not a replacement she is happy with of course. The author is very adept at highlighting the grim reality of pain and anger that Pearl is feeling...often uncomfortably so. Very focused on how relationships can change with both family and friends and how sometimes relationships can pull you out of the hole of depression. A very interesting read and at times gut wrenchingly honest.

BlackSusie2004 Sun 01-Jun-14 15:18:45

I received my copy of The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss last week and was ready to start a new book, so got straight into it!
The book is told from the point of view of 15 year old Pearl, and starts with Pearl's mum's funeral, and hooks you in with the emotions of the situation immediately.
'The Rat' refers to Pearl's baby sister, Rose, and she is blamed for her mum's death as she died giving birth and she also lives with her stepdad, the father of Rose, making her believe that she is now surplus to requirements.
The story follows Pearl through a year of her life while she tries to grieve, whilst still 'talking' to her mum and being angry with her sister and stepdad, it shows the difficulty in being a teenager and not being able to talk about emotions.
When the cello playing Finn comes along, Pearl finally finds a reason to smile again, and the book takes an upturn.
In general, the characters are very believable and real, and the book is well written and explores a very difficult emotion satisfactorily.

AugustRose Wed 28-May-14 13:45:56

It arrived this morning thank you smile

AliceMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 28-May-14 13:38:55

Hi there,

Apologies for the delay in receiving your free books. We have chased this up with the publishers, and your free copies should arrive by the end of this week.

AugustRose Tue 27-May-14 20:30:59

That was meant to say hasn't, sorry.

AugustRose Tue 27-May-14 20:30:29

Hello mine has arrived yet either, do you know when we might get them?

yasmin0147 Thu 22-May-14 17:17:43

Was really looking forward to seeing what this book was like, but no copy has come through yet

AliceMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 13-May-14 13:56:20

This giveaway is now closed. We will inform those who have been selected to receive a free copy via email. Once you've read the book, please come back and discuss your thoughts on this thread.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 06-May-14 15:54:28

We don't often feature two YA novels in one month but we had to make an exception this month with the publication of two fantastic new books for teens.

The Year of the Rat follows a year in the life of 16-year-old Pearl, coping with the heartbreaking loss of her mother and the arrival of 'the Rat', her baby sister – a constant reminder of why her mum is no longer alive. It's a beautifully written story that is full of bittersweet humour and heartbreaking honesty about how to deal with grief and will doubtless have you reading through into the night and sobbing into your hanky.

We think both The Year of the Rat and We Were Liars are strong contenders for best YA novels of the year and would love to hear your thoughts. If you'd like to read and review - either on this thread or by posting up a review, apply for a free copy here Budding novelists can also read Clare's top tips for writing.

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