An interesting and relatively unusual approach to the novel, this story uses the format of first-person narrative from the point of view of a young boy, alternating with the emotionally charged diary entries the same person makes as the father of a young girl suffering from leukaemia. The contrast between the carefree and joyful life of youth and the dread, torment, despair, anger, and bitterness felt by the adult plunged into a crisis with no clear outcome and lacking any real means of parental control, makes for a powerful, emotional, challenging story.
As a writer, I’m obliged to mention that the book needs a little more editing; tenses are sometimes mixed, even within a sentence. But that’s the pedantic view of someone who writes professionally and therefore cares deeply about language.
The story, told in terms that make it seem autobiographical, is full of that untroubled irresponsibility felt and displayed by pre-pubescent boys given freedom to enjoy life. The diary, however, establishes the helpless responsibility encountered by parents of a small child facing a potentially terminal illness that, regardless of outcome, will involve her in significant discomfort, danger, and great pain. How does a loving parent deal with such trauma?
This is a book that will cause any empathetic adult to laugh, curse, scream, hope, and cry. It’s no easy read, but it’s uplifting, despite the challenging nature of the subject.
[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]