Book Review: The Museum of You by Carys Bray, ISBN:9780091959609, out now to buy.

 

The Museum of You

There has been a lot of interest in The Museum of You on various social media sites in the past few weeks and I realised, when I sat down to read this book, that I don’t recall seeing any negative comments/reviews about this book. Having now read The Museum of You, I can concur that there is nothing to dislike about this book and I would go as far to labelling it as perfection.

The story is quite simple, centring on a father and daughter, Darren and Clover, who have lived together on their own ever since losing Clover’s Mother, Becky, when Clover was only a few months old. Both father and daughter have learned to continue with the routine of life but the memory of Becky has lingered and Clover feels as though Darren has never really told her anything meaningful about the woman who gave birth to her. Coupled with that is her alienation at school and with all the changes adolescence brings, Clover is dealing with a lot of pent up emotions. However, un be known to Clover, Darren is also struggling with the changes that being a single parent to a pre-teenage girl brings and is trying his hardest to ensure that his daughter is safe and happy in the only way he knows how. The two are just about getting by when a school trip to a museum ignites Clover’s imagination and she stumbles upon the idea of putting together a catalogue of all of her mother’s items that she knows have sat locked away in one of the bedrooms of their home. Without Darren knowing, Clover spends her entire school summer holiday cataloguing and thus finding out as much information as she can about Becky, unaware of her father’s reaction once he finds out what she has been up to…

The characterisation of Clover and Darren is simply perfect. Their loss, alongside their individual continued struggle to carry on with normality, is so well drawn. But, the best thing about The Museum of You is the intricate relationship between a father and his daughter. Darren is so eager to do right by his daughter, that as a result he begins to over-compensate for the loss of Clover’s mother, Becky. However, the less he talks about Becky, the more Clara finds herself wanting to know about this woman who she lost at only a few months into her life. There are so many different layers of relationships in The Museum of You and each one tells of a deeper story. Clover’s friendship with Dagmar is also beautifully handled and, by the end of the book, you can’t help but carry these characters around with you as they linger long after the story has ended.

The Museum of You is a perfect portrayal of grief, and how bereavement means different things to different people, and I was genuinely moved by the realism of Carys Bray’s beautifully written and emotional charged prose..

I received this book for review from the wonderful people at NetGalley.

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