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Customer Review

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Making Of Us, 12 May 2011
This review is from: The Making of Us (Paperback)
The Making Of Us is a story of many people, unconnected and completely different to begin until it's revealed each has one thing in common. They share the same donor father. All are at complicated stages of their lives, Lydia, 29, has gone from rags to riches but is desperately lonely and struggling with her past, Dean, 21, has just become a father, but lost the baby's mother in tragic circumstances and is struggling to bond with his daughter, Robyn, the youngest at 18 has moved to London to study medicine, a path she was so sure of until she was on it. In alternating chapters we hear from each of them, as well as Maggie, whose close friend Daniel is terminally ill and has asked her for help to fulfil his dying wish.

Wow, this book is an emotional roller coaster right from the start. The plot is so brutally human and complex yet Lisa Jewell absolutely pulls it off. Once again her skill at creating completely believable, relatable and flawed characters is perfect. I love alternating viewpoints when done well, and in The Making Of Us all four narratives both stand out individually and intertwine to create a heart wrenching and uplifting tale of identity and family. Each chapter is titled with the name of the character we are hearing from, although I do think they have strong enough voices to let the reader differentiate anyway.

I loved all the characters in this book, though in particular Lydia who is so far away from myself in many ways yet surprisingly familiar too. I also really liked Dean, the young brother she discovers through a donor sibling registry, and the developing relationship between the two of them is gorgeous, awkward but touchingly beautiful all at once. What I always love about Jewell's characters is how layered they are, and how she isn't afraid to show their weak and at times pathetic sides-the ones we all have but hide from the world, making them all the more stronger for it. You get the feeling while reading that these people could be ones you pass every day.

The Making Of Us is at times very sad and touching, but also incredibly hopeful and positive for the future. By the end of the book you'll feel you've experienced these peoples journey, you'll be behind them all the way and will leave wishing them the best in their future. This is a novel not about a donor father and his dying wish, but one of identity, knowing yourself, finding a sense of belonging and the ties that bind people to each other. It's compelling from start to finish and I was completely absorbed throughout. I've never been disappointed by Lisa Jewell's work, and I certainly wasn't by The Making Of Us. With each new book I think `this is the best yet' and that's how I felt after turning the last page. This is a book I highly recommend.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Jul 2011 14:46:02 BDT
Rhiannon says:
Maybe in future when you are reviewing books it would be helpful to those reading your review if you do not reveal the key twist of the plot straight away (or at all). I was really looking forward to reading this book and just by scrolling too far down the page and catching your review in the corner of my eye I no longer need to read the book!!!

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jul 2011 15:02:22 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Jul 2011 15:09:11 BDT
Bookinda says:
Actually I'm really happy with my review thanks and confident it doesn't give away the main plot twist at all, there's actually nothing there that you won't find on the publishers blurb or first chapter. If you decide not to read it then you're missing out...but not because of me. And thanks for the advice but I'll leave it :)
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