Saturday, August 14, 2010

Life on the Refrigerator Door

     Okay, I'll admit it...this book had me bawling in the waiting room at the doctor's office yesterday.  Everyone thought I was there for bad news.  After reading the ending, I could honestly tell the doctor I was doing great. 
     The title caught my eye first, but when I saw the pages were notes between a mother and daughter, I had to read it.  Claire is a teenager struggling to define herself in a life of divorce, friends, boys, and school.  Her mom is also struggling as a single mother raising a daughter and working.  They rarely see each other.  Their lives are recorded by notes on the refrigerator.
      The writing is engaging - especially as the word choice and tone change as their lives change.  The characters were so believable, I could see them as I read, even though the author never describes their appearance.
     The best part of the book was being able to relate to the characters.  As a teenager, I found it difficult to communicate with my mom.  Now I have a teenage daughter.  A few years ago we put a white board on the fridge to remind everyone of important messages, shopping lists, etc.  My daughter began to use it as a way to talk to me about things she was feeling or thinking but couldn't say out loud.   Her messages made me laugh, and often made me cry, but kept us connected through the dark days of adolescence.  Alice Kuiper captures that same connection and love between Claire and her mom.  This is a must read book - especially if you have a daughter.

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