Alice Kuipers' first novel, Life on the Refrigerator Door, begins as a slice of life familiar to most of us, notes left on the refrigerator. Fifteen-year-old Claire is in that difficult year. She's a fifteen-year-old, busy with friends, falling in love for the first time, babysitting. She's also responsible for some of the grocery shopping, cleaning house, and taking care of Peter, the rabbit.
At 43, Claire's Mom is a single mother and a busy obstetrician. The two seldom see each other, and communicate through notes. In a short book that covers a time period just over a year, the reader laughs and acknowledges their typical mother-daughter "communications." It's regrettable that so many people have such busy lives that they don't have time to sit down together, and only meet in passing. For Claire, and her Mom, it becomes even more tragic when "Mom" finds a lump in her breast.
Kuipers' poignant story allows the reader to feel for her characters. We observe "Mom's" frustration, worries about work, her feeling that she's lost control, and, finally, her concern for Claire. We watch a fifteen-year-old grow up, passing through the emotions of her first love, growing in responsibility and admiration for her mother. And, we observe the stages they go through when it's discovered that Claire's Mom has breast cancer.
By the end of Kuipers' book, with its originial format, the reader is truly moved by Life on the Refrigerator Door.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
I will not review self-published books, and, at the present time, do not accept books in e-book format.
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.