Title: Losing Clementine
Author: Ashley Ream
Release date: March 2012
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: 5 out of 5
Clementine has made up her mind: In 30 days, she’s going to end it. Kick the bucket. Buy the farm. Push up daisies.
That gives her an entire month to put her life in order. Because she’s resolved not to leave a mess… not like her mother did.
So Clementine’s finishing up her artwork, finding a new home for her cat, firing her assistant, and putting an end to her romantic entanglements. But as she tries to put her life in order, her past unravels and she discovers her life is not what it seemed.
Clementine is a deeply endearing character with an irreverent sense of humor, as when she describes one of the neighborhoods she drives through:
“This Mathis family lived on a wide street lined with parked cars and jacaranda trees that dropped their showy purple flowers onto windshields, driveways, sidewalks, and lawn furniture the way a stripper sheds day-old glitter.”
But her sense of humor doesn’t cover up–doesn’t even try to hide–her pain. The long-ago deaths of her mom and sister continue to haunt her, and she can’t move past her fear and sadness:
“That was my greatest fear, and more than twenty years of therapy hadn’t been able to allay it. What if I got so sad I did something that didn’t make sense to other people? What if I did what she did? What if I was dangerous?”
Ashley Ream’s voice is so assured, it’s hard to believe this is her debut as a novelist. Despite the dark subject matter she’s dealing with, she manages to make the book light and laugh-out-loud funny without losing sight of the serious implications of Clementine’s decision.
In between humorous asides, Clementine offers insight into the pain of bipolar disorder:
“The thing about being crazy is that you know you’re crazy even when you can’t do anything about it. You know how you look to other people, and the shame of it is almost worse than the thing itself.”
I’m usually pretty good at predicting a book’s plot twists, but I was so involved in this book, I was taken completely unaware by the big reveal. Ream’s a great storyteller, and the book flew by for me; I was sorry to stop reading and lose Clementine, even if I can pick up the book and find her again later.
Quote of Note:
“Thirty years was a long time for memories to fade, until what you had was memories of memories. They weren’t always reliable. It was like a game of telephone you played with yourself.”
Don’t just take my word for it. Check out what other reviewers on the tour have been saying!