Top critical review
9 people found this helpful
Good on the whole, slightly mixed feelings...
on 27 February 2013
It's hard to review a book such as this; the purpose of a review is not to discuss the subject matter, but the way it is written - in other words, it is not for the reviewer to weigh up the rights and wrongs of the situation or to lay blame, but to look at the structure of the story itself.
I did enjoy reading the book, getting out my Kindle on bus journeys, doing that "can I just finish this chapter?" thing when Him Indoors wanted to watch a film - an indication that it's pretty well written; if it wasn't, I would have stopped reading it. It certainly kept my interest; that's partly because I find tales of descent into drug and alcohol use quite absorbing, I don't know why. I liked the 'warts and all' way that the addicts' homes and lives were depicted - there was certainly no glamourising of the drug lifestyle! If this book has done anything it will have shown any youngsters who know nothing of these things what it is really like - and for that I applaud it.
I've said that it would be wrong for a reviewer to give an opinion on the situation, though in a story of this type it is hard not to; I will say that my sympathies changed over the course of the book, not necessarily just between the two main characters. One of the reasons I've given it 3 stars rather than 4 is that I felt there were some omissions, and I wondered if these were to save us from the whole story; for instance, when Amber was packed off to the Canaries for a week, in one paragraph she was getting into the bath on her first night, and in the next she was home again, with no gap in between ... maybe nothing happened, I don't know! Also, I would have liked to have known about what happened to people like Dave, and Jason. I was waiting to find out how Dave fared once he was back 'on the street' - and I never did.
Although it was the viewpoints of two people, it seemed to be written all by the same person; the 'voice' was the same, it just said different things. I know it's actually by the mother, so to give two different voices must have been difficult; it's not like writing fiction. The other thing I was not keen on was the way Amber kept referring to being 'clean', even though she was still using other substances.
Aside from those aspects of it, I'd say that if you're interested in this sort of story then yes, I'd definitely recommend reading it. I expect the lists of suggestions at the end of the book from both mother and daughter are very helpful to any person in this situation, too.