Upon reflection this book is brilliant. However, while reading, it lacked that same brilliance.
Family dynamics and relationships, how people who are family interact and how their lives are interwoven is incredibly fascinating for me. So in theory, I should have loved this.
This is a story about Clover Quinn, who was a surprise for her dad, and who has a million questions about her mother, but since this is a difficult topic for her dad she refrains from asking, and instead decides to make a museum exhibit dedicated to her mother. Meanwhile, her dad, Darren is just trying his best to make his daughter happy, the only way he knows how. The book is told in dual point narrative, where we first get a chapter from Clover and then a chapter from Darren, and the chapters alternate throughout. I really enjoyed that kind of structure and I felt like it gave the right sort of dynamic to the book.
This book was so hard for me to rate, or even to sum up my feelings on it. I loved the story for what it was at its core. It was charming, insightful, and also heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. I found all of the characters so interesting and realistic and I enjoyed their interactions. The characters are nicely fleshed out, and quirky, but in a way that all real people are, and not in an overbearing, trying-to-make-my-characters-special way. Also, this book has some of the most realistic depictions of mental illness that I ever read about, which I loved. I am always saddened by the way mental illness is used in books, and how bad the representation tends to be. So I found this book to be entirely refreshing when it came to that, and I sincerely applaud the author for it.
However, it took me ages to finish this, and it also induced one of the biggest book slumps ever. The pacing of it was very weird for me, the narrative a bit fumbled and disjointed. It kept jumping around and left me tired, so I found the whole picking up and actually reading it part very laborious.
Nonetheless, I would still recommend this. I understand all the high praise this book receives and all the love it gets. It is definitely deserved. Sadly, some aspects of it did not work for me, but I firmly believe that most people will love this because the story in itself is quite beautiful.
Hope you enjoyed, and do let me know if you read this or plan on reading it!
*I received a review copy of this book from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.