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Life on the Refrigerator Door Paperback – Unabridged, 1 Aug 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books; Unabridged edition (1 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330456458
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330456456
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 155,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Very original and touching" -- Joanne Harris

Book Description

Dear Claire, I had a stressful weekend. It would be nice to come home and not be made to feel guilty. I hope school was interesting. There's some of the chicken (which was very good, by the way) left over. See you for breakfast. I want to talk to you about something. Mom Beautifully told through notes left on their kitchen fridge, this is an intimate portrait of the relationship between a hard-working mother and her teenage daughter. Stunningly sad but ultimately uplifting, it is about being a 'good mother' or a 'good daughter', and is a reminder of how much can be said in so few words, if only we made the time to say them. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Gowling on 24 April 2008
Format: Hardcover
A very different way of writing a book, but a very clear message underneath the surface. (For Women) Hope you don't have mascara on because you will definetly have tiny tears. A quick read but in a good way, Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Leah Graham TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 May 2010
Format: Paperback
Claire and her mum don't have the best of relationships and the only way in which they actually appear to communicate with each other is via the medium of the refrigerator door in the form of notes. The fact is Claire is far too busy being a teenager - out with friends, having a boyfriend and generally just having a life - whereas her mother is far too busy working to provide for herself and her daughter. Which means that their only method of communication is indeed on their refrigerator door. But one day, one note is going to turn Claire and her mums world completely upside down...

I must admit that I do feel a little cheated by the book. It's 226 pages long but it's absolutely not 226 pages full of writing. Because the book is told in notes there's only one note per page and some of the notes are only a few lines long so I managed to finish the book in under an hour. It is a unique way of trying to tell a story but to be honest, after finishing it, I'm still not totally convinced it worked. I mean the quotes from the magazines say it's "heartbreaking" and "guaranteed to make me cry" but I never felt either of those emotions whilst reading the book.

The idea of a mother and daughter being so far apart that they only communicate via notes is actually pretty sad. What mother or daughter cannot find the time to talk to each other for at least an hour a day? And, to be honest, the notes don't even really have a ring of truth to them. They seem forced - despite the fact Claire doodles all over her drawings which is obviously an attempt from the author to get us to be able to know Claire a bit better and to make her more real to us. But for me it didn't really work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. H. Stokes on 11 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Excellent book - useful to me professionally and personally. Made me weep in places!It arrived speedily and in good condition.
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Format: Hardcover
What an interesting little book this turned out to be. It caught my eye because it's a bright pink little hardback with a ribbon page marker in it, and flicking through it I could see that it is entirely made up of notes written between a mother and daughter and stuck on the fridge in their kitchen. With each note starting a new page (though the later notes get longer) it was a quick book to read, but it packed quite a punch.

Writing in such a personal style quickly gives the reader an insight into the relationship between these two individuals, a doctor who is constantly on call at the maternity ward, and her sociable teenage daughter Claire. The two barely see each other, with other commitments constantly hindering them in spending time together even when they've tried to arrange something special. This in itself is poignant enough when shown in such a stark manner, but when Claire's mother discovers a lump on her breast things get even worse. Through these notes we see her struggling to explain things to her daughter and get her own mind around what she's facing, and hear about Claire's worries and her attempts to make things better for her mum.

I hadn't expected the book to take this direction at all - I just thought it was a quirky little chick lit book, to be honest - but by the end I was sobbing into my breakfast and wanted to run out and give my mum a big squidge. Mum and I have always been so close that this situation would never happen to us, but perhaps that made it all the more heartbreaking for me to read, imagining how I would feel and how dreadful it would be if there was such a distance between us at such a critical time.

Definitely worth a read - quick, but a strong reminder about family and getting your priorities right. Brilliant.
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Format: Hardcover
I was intrigued by the idea of Life on the Refridgerator Door by Alice Kuipers. A book made up of notes left by a mother and her daughter on their refridgerator door as a way of communicating to each other during their busy lives? How would this work as a 'novel'?

On the whole, I would say that it does work. Despite the majority of notes being fleeting, sometimes single sentences, Kuipers manages to create two very different characters in the way they write their notes to one another. The mother is dealing with feelings of guilt at not being there enough for her daughter while she deals with being a busy midwife, and Claire her daughter, is dealing with an absent mother who she needs to help her deal with boys, school and impending adulthood. When the mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, the two of them deal with anger, hope, despair and love, all through the notes they write w.

This book is sweet, touching and sad. It serves as a reminder that we must all make the most of the time we have and not have any regrets, and to tell those that we love just how important they are. The main failing of this book is that it just seems to be over too quickly, and I personally felt that I wouldn't remember the characters or really the book a week or so after finishing it. It just seem to be lacking that spark that makes you really connect to a book and want to read it again and again.

Ideally I would give it 3.5 stars. 4 seems too many, 3 not enough. I would recommend borrowing it from a friend, rather than buying it to keep.
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