The Museum of You

Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (16th June 2016)

5/5*

What a gorgeous book! The cover is stunning and the story within has melted my heart.

Clover Quinn knows she was a surprise, but she’s always liked to think she was a good one. She’s twelve now and isn’t so sure any more. Clover and her Dad (Darren) are close. He has done his best, raising her as a single Dad. They lead a simple, day-to-day life. I particularly loved the scenes where they are watching Bake Off together! Clover just wishes he would talk about her mother more.

Clover is roughly aware of what happened to her mother, Becky, when she was just a baby, but she would like to know more. She doesn’t want to upset her Dad by asking too many questions though. Instead, she finds herself amongst her mothers things in the second bedroom and decides to catalogue what she sees as significant, as a sort of tribute to Becky. Her way of piecing together a story about who her mother was. The mother she never got to know.

Darren hasn’t thrown a single thing away since Becky died. Clover knows their home is different, more cluttered than other people’s homes, but she knows her Dad will get around to sorting it out one day. He’s been busy with work and helping Colin.

This summer is the first time he’s allowed her to stay in the house on her own whilst he’s at work. She is obviously a sensible girl. She’s happy to potter around and tend to their allotment. Darren still worries though, understandably (I have two teenagers!). Their neighbour, Mrs Mackerel, is close by to keep an eye on her though. Mrs Mackerel is HILARIOUS! She reminds me of my late Step-Dad’s late mother, Mrs Christey. She always used to say things wrong which made us giggle. ANTON DECK! Lol! If you’ve read this already you will understand. Otherwise you will know what I mean when you do. πŸ™‚

The Museum of You is an easy five stars for me. It is a beautifully written story about love, loss, parenthood, friendship, family and growing up. I fell in love with Clover and her Dad along with the other wonderful characters in this story, all equally important in their own way. It might be a simple story on the surface, but it is just amazing. I’m sure many will relate in one way or another. These characters feel like very real people with very real (and still quite raw) emotions. Their story has been written with love and affection. The ending full of hope.

I’d love to catch up with the Quinn’s again sometime to see how they’re getting on.

Many thanks to the author and publisher for my Kindle copy of this wonderful book, via Netgalley. I will be recommending it to anyone and everyone. I’m off to add Carys Bray’s other books to my TBR list now!

You can buy your copy of this lovely book here – The Museum Of You by Carys Bray

Description (via Amazonuk):

Clover Quinn was a surprise. She used to imagine she was the good kind, now she’s not sure. She’d like to ask Dad about it, but growing up in the saddest chapter of someone else’s story is difficult. She tries not to skate on the thin ice of his memories.

Darren has done his best. He’s studied his daughter like a seismologist on the lookout for waves and surrounded her with everything she might want – everything he can think of, at least – to be happy.

What Clover wants is answers. This summer, she thinks she can find them in the second bedroom, which is full of her mother’s belongings. Volume isn’t important, what she is looking for is essence; the undiluted bits: a collection of things that will tell the full story of her mother, her father and who she is going to be.

But what you find depends on what you’re searching for.

About the author:
Carys Bray’s debut collection SWEET HOME won the Scott prize and selected stories were broadcast on BBC Radio Four Extra. Her first novel A SONG FOR ISSY BRADLEY was serialised on BBC Radio Four’s Book at Bedtime and was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards and the Desmond Elliott Prize. It won the Utah Book Award and the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award.

Carys has a BA in Literature from The Open University and an MA and PhD in Creative Writing from Edge Hill University. She lives in Southport in North West England with her husband and four children. Her second novel THE MUSEUM OF YOU will be published in June 2016. She is working on a third novel.

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