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Life on the Refrigerator Door Paperback – July 30, 2015
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From Publishers Weekly
Kuipers's haunting debut unfolds like a flip book of half-drawn images too swiftly ended, a compilation of tantalizing notes posted on a refrigerator by a single working mom and Claire-bear, her wistful teen daughter. Bittersweet, funny and achingly real, the nameless mother (an overworked obstetrician) and bubbly Claire communicate through these notes instead of talking, e-mailing or text messaging. Missives range from the daughter's plainly impassioned (Hi MOM! (Who I never see anymore EVER!)) to her mother's soothing, tough-upper-lip responses written during her breast cancer treatment. Kuipers captures the anxiety surrounding tragedy and conveys the importance of fully experiencing life. Although the format has its limits (notably in character development and narrative momentum), Kuipers delivers a strong, emotional reminder about the importance of loved ones, even through times of unceasing complications and challenges. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Digital edition.
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Top customer reviews
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I liked it.
This book definitely deserves 5 stars.
I wonder how many of the customers who have published reviews have raised or are raising teenagers.
I'm helping raise a 15-year old teenage girl. I thought I was reading her notes. This book is so realistic. Single working Moms can see themselves reflected in the notes left by the Mom.
So many families leave post-it notes on the fridge for each other. As far as I know this is the first time an author has written a book solely using notes posted on a fridge.
Even with her hands tied behind her back because of the technique she has chosen, the author was able to develop characters, make the reader care about her characters, write a tight plot, & maintain a flowing narrative.
Not only does this author deal very realistically with the interactions between a 15-year old teenage girl & her Mom (& her Dad) - but the author adds a terminal disease for the Mom. Somehow she knows how a young mother facing this crisis feels like. Somehow she is honest enough to include spats & conflicts even during this time of crisis between Mom & daughter.
I loved this book. It can only help parents & teenagers who read it have an even closer relationship. If they are having troubles, perhaps reading this book can help smooth the way to recovery.
How this author can touch so many actual emotions is amazing to me. I applaud her.
I applaud her with 5 stars.
I put a pox on cynics & naysayers. As for those readers complaining about wanting more . . . how is that bad?
This is the author's debut novel. Wow! What a triumph!
Cynics should stay away from this book. Curmudgeons need not open its covers. Speedreaders should slow down to savor the words & the emotions the book will bring out in the reader.
Some thoughts about it:
-- A modern drama written on a typical medium of our time, the fridge note.
-- The story unfolds partly in the reader: the fragmentary input makes a continuum in the reader.
-- It has a rhythm and theme you can easily connect to.
-- Actually, you could also use the text to teach English as a foreign language.
-- A modern version of the epistolary.
-- A small book so you can take it with yourself and read it anywhere and whenever you have some time to spare.
The main topic is nothing special. You might even say that it was probably financed by the health department to warn women to take regular medical check-ups seriously. Another trite theme is the relationship between a teenage daughter and an overworked single/divorced mother, which carries no novelty either. However, the way the threads of the story are woven, does not let you see it that way while you are imbued in the tale and after putting the book down finished. The magic effect of a good story teller's tale wears out slowly, which was the case with this book for me. When looking at the red spine of the book on my shelf, I have a general positive feeling about it. How the story is told makes a difference here.