- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 2225 KB
- Print Length: 246 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1535450371
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01JCUIZEQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #451,543 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Accidental Damage Kindle Edition
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I loved the 1st person narrative and the descriptions of the characters which allowed you to get to know them through their character traits or in the case of 'Small' named simply because he was the youngest! It is a story of determination, of not letting the big guy win just because he's the big guy, of family pulling together and most of all hope that it will all come right in the end.
A great read and I eagerly await the next chapter in life of a mother and her brood. A book that in some respects every mother can relate to (even if only the empty biscuit tin!)
Oh dear!! The protagonist is as much of a mess as her ramshackle house! And the next few years of her family's life! But, that isn't going to stop her from telling us a great story about what happened to her and her family in that time and how in the face of adversity, they pulled through - with a little bit of help from some chocolate fridge cake and Chaos and Logic Crispy Cakes!
This story is inspired by real life events. It is basically the tale of a family living in a ramshackle country house that suffers huge storm damage, making it an unsafe structure to live in which leaves them facing a long, painful period of negotiation with Insurance Brokers, builders and the numerous people involved in 'accidental damage' claims. It is a living nightmare.
But this is not a story of woe, it is not a story of blame, irritation or cynicism. Incredibly, it is a very upbeat and positive novel with a narrative voice that will make you chuckle, giggle and admire the resources and resilience of the family.
Each chapter is given a heading with a definition and I really enjoyed this technique. Not only does it infer what might be coming plot wise, it makes the reader think about the words we use in certain situations and how definitions can be used to give meaning or explain things but also confuse or complicate situations. Things that sound like they should be black and white and straight forward but often aren't. And it is also a very entertaining and imaginative way of pulling the reader in.
"Accidental Damage - Definition: damage to an individual's home or its contents that transpires inadvertently during the course of everyday life."
I really enjoyed reading about the family and the relationship between the parents and their children, as well as between the siblings, as events began to affect them all. Alice clearly loves her family dearly and is exceptionally proud of each of them but I did enjoy her wry remarks, humorous observations and gentle comments about the children who she refers to as Small, Chaos and Logic. Anyone who shares a space with teenagers will appreciate these sections!
There is much wisdom sprinkled between these pages, nuggets of truth that we will all recognise and be glad to reread or be reminded of. It's interesting how Alice has used the story of her ramshackle cottage to explore more the emotional issues in us ramshackle people. For me, I thought a lot of this book was about thinking about your outlook and your approach to life. It's impossible not to admire or want to aspire to Alice's infectious lightheartedness and upbeat attitude to life.
"Eventually we must face those things that scare us. We need to confront them head on, because only then can we stand a chance of defeating them so that they can't dominate the rest of our lives."
To emphasise this idea, alongside this tale of the physical struggle of a family and a house, runs the more internal struggle of the protagonist. Alice was a painter. Alice has locked this side of herself away and lost sight of how it defines, shapes her and makes her whole. Is it time for her to find her paints- her'friends' - again? And what will happen when she does? I thought this was an interesting aspect of the book and gave a bit more depth to the novel.
I think the message I took most notice of was that it is really important to look on the bright side of life if you can.
"We should consider that the responsibilities of adulthood can frequently make us neglect the true meaning of life as we become swept up in the pursuit of ephemeral goals forgetting to enjoy every moment for what it is."
This book will be a must read for anyone who has had building work done or lived in a property that has suffered serious damage. It is informal, personal and a very easy read. It has the feel of a blog post, radio piece or a magazine column and it's fluency, lightheartedness and personable style makes it very easy to keep reading. I was glad I didn't have to wait for instalments as it was a pleasure to carry on at my own pace.
This would also make a great audio book but in the mean time I look forward to seeing what Alice May does next and would be happy to hear more about her Beloved Husband, Logic, Chaos and Small!
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