Book Review: Up From the Blue by Susan Henderson
May 28, 2011 18 Comments
I won this book during last year’s 24hour read-a-thon. It was a giveaway from Harper Publishers. I wasn’t really sure what to think of it. The cover looks a little too “sweet” for me. But in fact, the book was very enjoyable.
Up From the Blue: What it is about
The book starts with Tillie Harris being home alone, her husband on a business trip. She’s 34 weeks pregnant and they’ve just moved houses. The phone isn’t connected yet, she doesn’t know anyone in the neighbourhood, and she thinks she’s having contractions.
When she phones her childhood home (from her neighbour’s house) the only number she remembers by heart, her father comes out to help her. But she doesn’t want anything to do with him really.
We then find out what happened when Tillie was eight and why she resents being near her father. Most of the book reveals the story of what happened to Tillie’s mother and how this affected Tillie even to this day.
Up From the Blue: What I thought
As I am a mother myself, I found the premise: home alone, pregnant and with contractions, quite interesting. Unfortunately, most of the book wasn’t about the current time, but about the past.
That is the story of Tillie at about eight years old with her mother not getting out of bed and the house a mess. Her father needs to do all the housework as well as his own job. But then her mother goes missing. Or does she?
That was enjoyable to read and well-written, but I wanted more of the pregnancy story. If that hadn’t been there, the story of eight-year old Tillie would have been much more appealing to me. As it was, I was looking to see how many pages until we got more about Tillie as she was now.
The book is fluently written and although I didn’t find it hard to put the book away when I had other things to do, I did enjoy picking it up and continue reading.
It reminded me, in terms of story line, a llittle of Tender Graces by Kathryn Magendie, although Up From the Blue was better written. If you like a coming of age story, a story about a dysfunctional family, and about mental illness, then you’ll love this book!
I got this book: from the Publishers, Harper, in a giveaway during the 24hour read-a-thon last year
I read this in: English, the original language
Number of pages: 320
First published: 2010
Genre: contemporary fiction