TITLE: P is for Pearl
AUTHOR: Eliza Henry-Jones
TRIGGER WARNING: A character with MI being mistaken for ‘eccentric’ etc
WHERE DID I RECEIVE THIS?: HarperCollinsNZ sent this to me in exchange for an honest review!
From the talented author of the celebrated novels In the Quietand Ache comes a poignant and moving book that explores the stories we tell ourselves about our families, and what it means to belong.
Seventeen-year-old Gwendolyn P. Pearson has become very good at not thinking about the awful things that have happened to her family. She has also become used to people talking about her dead mum. Or not talking about her and just looking at Gwen sympathetically.
And it’s easy not to think about awful things when there are wild beaches to run along, best friends Loretta and Gordon to hang out with – and a stepbrother to take revenge on.
But following a strange disturbance at the cafe where she works, Gwen is forced to confront what happened to her family all those years ago. And she slowly comes to realise that people aren’t as they first appear and that like her, everyone has a story to tell.
P is for Pearl is a novel that focuses on unravelling the life of our main character, Gwne’s mother. It follows Gwen as she finally learns the truth about her mother, the things her father kept from her and she learns how to deal with them, in both anger and sorrow.
This is a contemporary novel which focuses heavily on Mental Illnesses. The main character is not mentally ill, but her mother was and it was a secret not spoken about. Gwen grew up knowing her other as eccentric and loving, not as dealing with her own demons in an endless fight.
I think while this novel does spend a lot of time focusing on the mental health aspects of her mother, and the events that lead up to her death, it also focuses on Gwen. It shows her growth as she learns to deal with the truth, how she learns to handle her own issues, and how to be the adult in a situation and reach out to offer help to someone who needed it.
My favourite part of this novel were the family dynamics, from the Adorable younger sister who caught on quickly and tried to make things better for pearl, to her older brother who pranked her constantly, but sat outside her bedroom for two hours when she needed him. The dynamics weren’t always healthy, there was sibling rivalry as always but the love outweighed it and showed what family is really like.
WHAT I LIKED
The location of the novel, how it felt like a real small town
The family dynamics
The acceptance of the MC issues with her past
WHAT I DIDNT LIKE
how nothing really happened
How it was over so fast
How little focus there was on Amber and Pearl
Overall I think if you’re a fan of contemporaries or book set in Australia, this is something you should pick up
Until next time,