This is the story of one year in the life of Lucie, but it could be the most difficult year of her life. Her beloved mother has just died, she is about to turn 11 and her father, elder sister and younger brother are all coping, or not, with bereavement in their own way. Lucie’s story is told as a series of letters to her mother. Because of the frequency of these, it is almost diary like and we are given a deep insight into the emotions and challenges of the first year after her bereavement.
This is not a mawkish or overly sentimental look at grief, neither is it full of the sorrowful rage that can be seen in other books. Lucie is a young girl who would be going through difficult times anyway and she needs a focus for her thoughts and feelings. Her relationship with the rest of her family is strong and believable, with all the frictions between siblings and a father trying to cope with children, home and job. Having said all this, do not read the book on public transport. I admit to crying as I read, because of the real sense of loss that Lucie feels. The books says it is for 8 yrs+ but I think children of that age would need support in talking through the issues and emotions raised. However, this novel has a strong place in helping young people deal with the loss of a family member or a friend. Strongly recommended.