Life is still crazy, busy.
And I'm still reading Testament of Youth & The Brain's Way of Healing.
ToY is extraordinary - moving & desperate, beautifully written, but it's a slow, thoughtful read and I usually only manage to read a couple of chapters in one sitting.
Friday night, though, found me tired & emotional. I needed something easier to read so I pulled out a slim teen book, Back to Blackbrick to slide me gracefully into the weekend.
I've finally had some time to write its review tonight.
You are now seeing the sum total of my reading and blogging week!
I hope your week has been more bookish & bloggish than mine.
When I first read Fitzgerald's The Apple Tart of Hope last year I knew I had found a new-to-me author to love and enjoy.
Part of that enjoyment involves tracking down the backlist.
Back to Blackbrick (first published in 2013) is her first book and I fervently hope and pray that there are plenty more to come. But right now it is true for me to say that I love everything that Fitzgerald has ever written!
Back to Blackbrick grew out of Fitzgerald's experience with her own father's Alzheimer's diagnosis. In her afterword she writes,
"the magic of writing is that you start out being dominated by your own experiences and feelings, (but) you end up being able to occupy other people's heads and hearts....They have helped me to remember that no-one who has loved you ever really goes away."
To this end she has created a lovely time-slip story that deals with young Cosmo's distress as his beloved grandfather slips into memory loss.
Curiously, the actual time-slip section of the book doesn't work as well as the current day story line. The character of Cosmo remains strong throughout, but the younger grandfather is less convincing. I found myself skimming through the time-slip section very quickly. Perhaps because I've read A LOT of time-slip books over the years it takes something stunningly different to grab my attention.
As with Apple Tart there are some mature themes - this time death, grief & loss, sexual harrassment & teen pregnancy. But just like Apple Tart, Blackbrick is infused with hope, love & memory.
Highly recommended for mature 12+ readers.