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Broken Soup Paperback – 3 Feb 2011
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Praise for Jenny Valentine:
‘Valentine has the essential storyteller's gift of making you want to read on - and to know more even after the book is finished.’ Guardian
‘The award-winning Valentine has a keen eye for the idiosyncrasies of young children, and the rhythms of family life.’ The Bookseller
‘[Valentine] has a wonderful ability to take readers right into the hearts and souls of her central characters, and reading her is always a truly vicarious experience.’ The Bookbag
Praise for Broken Soup
“…a life-affirming, witty, romantic read, about freedom, responsibility and love.” – Sunday Times, Culture
‘delicately written … A solid tale of what it takes to grow up and how to ask for help.’ Publishers Weekly
“Valentine’s appeal lies in conveying life and hope.” – The Times
“…a very funny and sad story about what really makes a family, and how we can lose our common sense in times of crisis and find it again through love.” – The Daily Mail
“Beautifully written and emotionally sure, this is unputdownable and should keep even the most moany teenager quiet until it’s finished.” – The Independent
About the Author
Jenny Valentine moved house every two years when she was growing up. She has just moved house again, probably not for the last time. She worked in a wholefood shop in Primrose Hill for fifteen years where she met many extraordinary people and sold more organic loaves than there are words in her first novel, Finding Violet Park. She has also worked as a teaching assistant and a jewellery maker. She studied English Literature at Goldsmiths College, which almost put her off reading but not quite.
Jenny is married to a singer/songwriter and has two children.
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Top customer reviews
The story is a real social commentary on modern life with a young carer, Rowan, holding her broken family together with her distant ill mother and younger sibling to care for. This story should resonate strongly with children who have encountered bereavement and depression or are caring for older and younger generations of their family. Teenagers lucky enough to be untouched by such events will also benefit from the strong storyline and perhaps be more aware of the trials their fellow classmates may be suffering. This is a very much 'what goes on behind closed doors' story while the characters put on an everyday brave face to the world.
While this book has an outstanding theme and storyline it is also immensely enteraining and beautifully written. There is nothing preachy or cringeworthy. It is shown from a teenagers point of view, mistakes and all and is such an accurate reflection of life.
This is positive book despite the the negative events and has an uplifting ending.
Highly recommended for 13+ but please be aware there are some graphic events and themes that may be upsetting to some teenagers.
Jenny Velentine's skill in writing has created an intriguing and compelling novel, which had me laughing and crying all the way through.
the only problem was i wish there was more at the end or at least a sequel. I wanted to hear more about Harper :)
While Rowan is in line at a shop, a strange boy tries handing her a picture negative. He's insistent that she has dropped it, but Rowan is positive that it's not hers. When he doesn't let up, Rowan takes the negative from him, but once at home, she throws it in the trash. It isn't until an unfamiliar girl approaches Rowan in the lunch room that she gives a second thought to the negative.
The girl, Bee, is a few years older and would be the same age as her brother, Jack, if Jack were still alive. It turns out Bee saw the encounter at the shop and asks Rowan what was on the negative. Rowan retrieves it from the trash, and Bee develops it.
What shows up stuns Rowan. It's a picture of her brother. But this is not a picture that she has ever seen before. How did the unfamiliar boy know that it belonged to her, even when she hadn't known herself that it even existed?
From there, the story evolves into Rowan's friendship with Bee, and her future encounters with the unknown boy, Harper. Harper is an American traveling around Europe. He hadn't planned on staying in town as long as he has, but he's enthralled with Rowan and can't bring himself to leave.
BROKEN SOUP is the heartbreaking story of a girl and her family's attempt to recover from the untimely death of Jack. Jack was the shining star in the family. When he died, so did the family. Rowan's father has left. Her mother is practically comatose with grief. It's up to Rowan to keep herself and her little sister, Stroma, surviving.
Finding the negative begins a series of events that may either heal Rowan's family once and for all, or be the last straw that makes it crumble into permanent destruction. The story is beautifully written and will surely touch the heart of all who read it.
Reviewed by: Jaglvr
It's a story about a teenage girl struggling to cope with her mum's depression, which is told in a sensitive and intelligent way. I found that it was the ingenious backplots that really made this an interesting book. I don't want to ruin it by saying too much, but it honestly is brilliant, and Jenny Valentine deserves much more praise for it than she is currently getting.
All the characters are engaging and real, as well as layered and complex. I particularly liked Stroma, Rowan's six year old sister. She's your typical child, yet she has more maturity and sincerity than a lot of adults possess. Harper, the boy with the negative, is also another favourite of mine. He ends up playing such a huge role in Rowan's life that it's hard not to completey fall in love with him. He's selfless and generous, and is as genuine a character as you can hope to read about.
I highly, highly recommend this book. Not only will it keep you guessing, but it will also make you appreciate everyone in your life. Oh, and good news for anyone in the US: Broken Soup is due for publication in April. Put it on your reading lists... you won't be disappointed!
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Most recent customer reviews
I recommend this book for girls aged 10+ (and I am eleven) because there was a small amount of...Read more
praise for jenny brilliant brilliant brilliant brilliant brilliant brilliant