Monday, 15 February 2016

Book Review: How Many Letters Are In Goodbye? by Yvonne Cassidy

Read: February 13-15   Verdict: 4 Stars

I received a free digital copy from the author/publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest feedback.

Rhea is 17 years old, only has one arm and is living homeless on the streets of New York. As a way of exploring her feelings and what's happening to her, Rhea begins to write letters to her dead mother.

This one was a hard one to rate for me. There was a lot going on in this book from themes of exploring sexuality and coming to terms with sexuality, living with a disability, homelessness, the young homeless, sexual assault, depression, suicide. It was certainly diverse in a lot of ways and the story was set in the 90s, so there was no mobile phones, email or instant messenger. Everything seemed that little bit more drawn out because Rhea was writing everything down.

I felt like we did get a real sense of Rhea. She didn't seem to know where she was going or even who she really was but I felt close to her during her struggles. I did get frustrated at her now and again as I felt she was a bit slow in accepting things, particularly in her talks with Jean, but overall I do feel like she's a character a lot of people could identify with.

I'm giving this four stars because the book felt just that little bit too long for me. I think the middle could be trimmed down a lot and it would make the story feel a lot less dragged out.

On a side note, I didn't know this story would have an Irish connection so I was so happy when I read that. And you know an author is either Irish or has spent a great deal of time in Ireland when they talk about 'fizzy orange' and 'Hunky Dorys' and also use the phrase 'I'm grand.'

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