Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan, published by Bloomsbury in 2015
When Apple's mother returns after eleven years away, Apple feels whole again. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother's homecoming is bittersweet. It's only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is that she begins to see things as they really are.
This is the fourth Sarah Crossan book I've read and it reminded me most of 'The Weight of Water' in the way that the main character Apple, expresses her inner feelings and emotions through the poetry that she writes.
The story is about thirteen year old Apple who lives with her Nana but longs for her mother, who left her when she was young, to return. When her hopes are answered, she believes that she and her mother can rebuild their relationship but things don't turn out to be quite so simple. The idealistic picture of her mother that she has built up in her head is far from reality and as much as she tries to pretend otherwise, her life starts to spiral out of control.
There are many of Apple's poems throughout the book and they are really beautiful. They reflect the tumultuous nature of her relationship with her family. She has a real gift for words and I enjoyed reading these immensely. Through her poems she can begin to explore her feelings of anger, disappointment and sadness which she has bottled up for such a long time.
I thought that the story was very moving and touching and perfectly explores the bonds that are formed between family and friends. Things don't always work out the way we want them to but that's okay because life always has ups and downs. The bumps in the road will always be there but with the help of those who love us, it's possible to overcome them and come out the other side in one piece.
'Apple and Rain' is a brilliant contemporary read by a British author who has a talent for wringing every drop of emotion out of you. Have your tissues ready!