She was just three years old when she heard her mum and her nana yelling and shouting. It was Christmas Eve, and when her mother left, to head to NY and to find herself, Apple was sure that she would come back soon. She imagines her on Broadway, famous, and this fantasy helps her cope.
But it would be eleven years, and when her mum came back, she had a surprise with her. A ten-year-old daughter Rain, Apple’s sister.
Set in Brampton, England, Apple and Rain is a poignant story of family, loss, and redemption. It also shows, from Apple’s point of view, what her world looks like, with school bullying, friendships tarnished, and finding new friends. We get to feel what she’s feeling, and experience how poetry helps her reclaim her own uniqueness.
Rain’s obsessive attachment to a doll reminds us that sometimes the pains we hold inside are manifested in unexpected ways.
As I read this novel, a coming-of-age tale that reminded me of some of my own childish fantasies and fears, I couldn’t stop turning the pages. 4 stars.