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Losing Clementine: A Novel Paperback – March 6, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[LOSING CLEMENTINE] is poignant and insightful and also surprisingly funny, thanks to its nasty, charming narrator.” (Gillian Flynn, New York Times-bestselling author of Gone Girl)

“A breezy, self-deprecating voice that makes for good company...clever dialogue...It’s tempting to consider [LOSING CLEMENTINE] a Left Coast update of “Bright Lights, Big City” ...although Ream’s Clementine stares down a fate far more dire than that faced by Jay McInerney’s magazine fact-checker.” (Kansas City Star)

“This is a novel that allows us to experience how exciting life is, and how fast time can fly, once you truly free yourself to live it.” (Bust Magazine)

“An entertaining and moody whirlwind. Whether readers love or hate Clementine, they won’t soon forget her.” (Publishers Weekly)

“An unexpectedly fresh and humorous voice. Fans of dark comedy should add Ream to their list of authors to watch.” (Library Journal)

“With her razor wit and over-it-all candor, Clementine makes for a fascinating companion, and Ream manages to craft an engaging and impressive debut without soft-pedaling how very sick Clementine is . . . A hip and hilarious portrait of a crazy person.” (Kirkus)

“It’s hard not to fall in love with Clementine Pritchard--she’s talented, witty, inventive and suicidal. You won’t want this story to end as you root for the wonderfully lawless and impulsive Clementine.” (Jessica Anya Blau, author of Drinking Closer to Home)

From the Back Cover

In thirty days Clementine Pritchard will be finished with her last painting and her life.

World-renowned artist and sharp-tongued wit Clementine Pritchard has decided that she's done. After flushing away a medicine cabinet full of prescriptions, she gives herself thirty days to tie up loose ends—finish one last painting, make nice with her ex-husband, and find a home for her cat. Clementine plans to spend the month she has left in a swirl of art-world parties, manic work sessions, and outrageous acts—but what she doesn't expect is to uncover secrets surrounding the tragedy that befell her mother and sister. In an ending no one sees coming, will we lose Clementine or will we find her?

A bold debut from an exciting new voice, Losing Clementine is a wonderfully entertaining and poignant novel about unanticipated self-discovery that features one of the most irresistible, if deeply flawed, characters to grace contemporary fiction in years.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062093630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062093639
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,235,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ashley Ream got her first job at a newspaper when she was 16. After working in newsrooms across Missouri, Florida and Texas, she gave up the deadlines to pursue fiction. Her debut novel, Losing Clementine, which sold at auction, was a Barnes & Noble debut pick and a Sutter Home Book Club pick. She and her books have appeared in L.A. Weekly, Los Angeles Magazine, Bust Magazine, the Kansas City Star and Marathon & Beyond Magazine. She lives in Los Angeles where she works at a nonprofit, runs ultramarathons and is finishing her next novel.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By AMB on April 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
What happens when you decided that 30 days from now you would end your life? Do you avoid all responsibility, have fun, and go wild? Or do you put all your ducks in a row, buy your burial plot, and find a new owner for your beloved cat? The latter is exactly what Clementine Pritchard did.

This review is difficult to write for two reasons. The first being I still haven't mastered the art of reviewing without giving anything away. And the second is that I am not articulate enough to give Losing Clementine the review it deserves. Nothing I write can convey how powerful this novel is.

I treasured every single second I spent with Clementine. She was funny, raw and candid in a way only someone preparing for her suicide can be. I'm thankful the novel was written in first person. I enjoyed being inside her head, enduring what she did, feeling what she felt.

Ashley Ream's idea to countdown the days until Clementine ended her life was brilliant. I liked how Clementine worked to resolve unfinished business with father, she knew that in order to rest in peace she needed resolution. The more I discovered about her, the more I understood her. The more I learned, the more my heart broke.

Losing Clementine would not have worked as well as it did if not for Ms. Ream sensitivity and understanding of conveying and relating Clementine's battle with manic depression. She has a remarkable capacity to communicate Clementine's emotions that as the reader I felt them too. As a debut novel, this is nothing less than stellar. It was the perfect combination of heartbreaking, moving, humorous, shocking, raw and sincere. It reads like a memoir. Clementine jumped out of the page, became real and told me her story.

In Losing Clementine, I found a wonderful novel that was twisted, dark, sad but redeeming, powerful and honest.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Susan Whitfield on March 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished reading Losing Clementine. Even though the topic is depression's "black days" and Clementine decides that in 30 days she'll commit suicide, I found the book humorous and thought-provoking. She threw away most of her possessions, picked out her own casket, and stopped being nice to people she never liked anyway. As the book moves along and the days count down, she makes all the preparations necessary to end her life.

Ashley Ream did a good job of taking me into the depths of depression where the body is in a stroke-like situation. I liked the uniqueness of this book, and the ending gave me hope for Clementine.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
Extremely depressed and off her meds artist Clementine Pritchard decided to commit suicide. She has given herself thirty days to determine her exit strategy. To begin with Clementine fires her shrink as she figures death means she does not need to see any doctor. Then she lets go of her assistant Jenny Pritchard who barely holds back the tears with the news. That done she tosses her tea set out the window nearly braining odious Mrs. Epstein. The countdown has begun in earnest as Clementine knows the only individual who will truly miss her is Chuckles the cat; yet she also refuses to leave a mess behind for whoever has to clean up her death.

The key to this dark often graveyard amusing character study is the profound complex look at depression but does so without using the mental illness as an alibi to justify Clementine's erratic behavior. Ironically as she plans to kill herself, she does so in an orderly manner; mindful of a leaper taking off their watch so it does not break. Readers will wonder throughout whether Clementine will take the poison she bought in Tijuana or become saved like in It's A Wonderful Life. With a nod to Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why I Killed Myself, Ashley Ream provides a powerful tale as Chuckles becomes the barometer of Clementine's "To be or not to be" life altering decision.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By misplaced cajun on March 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
What would you do if you had just thirty days to live? Clementine Pritchard is faced with just that question. In one month, Clementine will kill herself. She's got it all planned out, down to the nitty gritty details. She wants to wrap things up and she doesn't want it to be a burden on anyone.

Clementine has a history and challenges. But surprisingly LOSING CLEMENTINE doesn't become a big pity party or afterschool special. Ream's leading lady is snarky and funny and the book brings up some interesting questions in an unexpected way. It's hard not to love Clementine and Ashley Ream is definitely an author to watch!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jaime H. on March 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
Clementine Pritchard has decided she is going to kill herself in thirty days. This is the story about her wrapping up loose ends and fully coming to terms with her decision. She is organized about it, and buys her cemetery plot, her casket, the drugs to use to do it, and decides to hunt down her father that abandoned her family years ago. She has thought it all through, and has chosen suicide as the best route for her.
While reading Losing Clementine, the odd thing is that it is not a sad story, and it is not a dark story, as one might expect. Clementine has spent years trying to outrun and trying to control her inner demons, and she has decided that her death will bring a certain peace that she has not been able to find anywhere else. She is funny, sarcastic, and real. The story gives a day-by-day countdown to her day thirty ending, and in that time takes us on an emotional rollercoaster. You will find yourself rooting for Clementine to get better and find the one thing that might make her change her mind. But, then again, you will find yourself supporting her decision and coming to terms with it just as she has.
Losing Clementine is a book that forces the reader to leave any judgment outside its covers. Clementine has made her decision, and it is an informed one at that. She is not a tortured artist, or a tormented soul. She has simply had a life that has led her to her final thirty days. What we find is that Clementine is not weak. Quite to the contrary, she is one of the strongest women in fiction so far this year. She has made her choice on her own, it is her choice, it is informed, and there is no melodrama here.
Ream has a writing style that flows from one page to the next, and makes it difficult to stop once you start.
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