Friday, 30 March 2012
Loose Connections by Rosemary Hayes
Jake's dad is away and his pregnant mum is in hospital, so his granny is looking after Jake - or so they think. But Gran has changed. She tends to be dazed or confused, fills Jake's sandwiches with strange combinations of food, leaves the cooker on, and wanders down the road in her nightie in the middle of the night. Jake doesn't want to worry his parents, so he tries to look after Gran himself. But help comes from a mysterious quarter, in the form of a strange, ghostly girl called Verity. Birth, death, and the rites of passage in family life that connect them are beautifully portrayed through the eyes of a young teenage boy.
I found this book a really good read. I am not sure what age I would recommend this book for as it has some difficult subjects included within the book - Jake's mum is in hospital because she is pregnant and has had problems and miscarriages in previous pregnancies, his father is in America, on a training course for a new job he has recently got, and Jake is left at home in the care of his grandmother who becomes ill while she is looking after him but he tries to hide it from everyone. Help comes in the form of the next door neighbour, who has a son with additional needs.
The story is one which has the clear message that children should ask for help when they have difficulties with parents and/or relatives and that they shouldn't try and deal with the situation themselves.
There is also a mysterious girl, Verity, and the reader is left wondering throughout the story, who she is. I think this was an additional strand within the main story and was one which added to the story but was not one of the important parts.
I found the final chapter to be very emotional and beautifully written, but i would recommend tissues. I think that this is a book that young adults and/or adults would both enjoy and could be used as a support to children going through similar situations.
I received this book through the Amazon Vine Programme.