18/02/2007

Things to Make and Mend (by Ruth Thomas)

'Things to Make and Mend' is a lovely, gentle novel by Ruth Thomas. It features Sally and Rowena, two women in their forties, who were 'best friends' in their teens and yet have been estranged for nearly thirty years.

The novel is told from the perspective of both these women, alternating past and present as the story slowly moves forward to an inevitable reconciliation, and the past is gradually unfolded.

Themes are explored along the way, such as the nature of friendship, betrayal, class consciosness and teenage pregnancy, but the whole is a lovely blend of nostalgia and storytelling. I enjoyed odd observations about school life in the 1970s, many of which could have come straight from my own secondary school.

It took a while to get into the story, although I loved the style from the beginning, and I thought the end a little too abrupt - but all in all, an enjoyable book.

For some reason, this does not seem to be published in the USA.

My longer review of 'Things to Make and Mend' is here at The Bookbag site.

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