Sunday, March 25, 2012

Alice's Review: Losing Clementine

Summary:  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?  ~amazon.com

Review:  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.  

Final Take: 5/5

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