There are going to be so many things I wish I could’ve told you in person, Poppy. I won’t get the chance to do that, so perhaps this is my only way…
It’s Poppy Kinsey’s birthday.
She should be blowing out candles and opening presents – but hers falls on the type of heart-wrenching, agonising anniversary she would far rather forget.
The worst day of them all. The day her mother died.
But this year is special because the person she misses most in the world has left her a set of letters, one for each of her next ten birthdays.
As Poppy opens them year by year, she discovers that no matter how tough life gets, her mum will always be by her side, guiding her along the way.
What does TWG think?
With a title of ‘Ten Birthdays’ and the tagline stating that it’s an emotional read, I was expecting an earth shattering, emotive, tear inducing book. That type of book isn’t what I got though…
Birthdays..the day for celebrating, creating memories, and stuffing your face with cake. Admit it, we have all been there! Unfortunately, birthdays for some people aren’t the happy and joyous occasion of their dreams. Take Poppy Kinsey for example. Her birthday is no longer a day for creating memories, instead it is a day for remembrance.
Poppy’s mum died on that day; so instead of counting down the days until her birthday, she’s faced with yet another year without her mum. Although, technically that isn’t quite so true. Poppy’s mum left her ten letters which were only to be opened on Poppy’s birthday for the next ten years. Cute eh? Whilst I could feel the poignancy of the letters standing to attention, I didn’t get that ‘quick I’m going to ugly cry’ moment. Her mum had died and left her letters, how the heck wasn’t I crying?
Ten Birthdays isn’t a long read at all. We get to brush over the characters personalities, leaping forward a year just when we were able to get to know them better. Personally I feel that the lack of in-depth detail hindered the emotion. It was as though we were skimming over the situation and we could have found out more about Poppy and her fathers lifestyle in the aftermath of her mother’s death.
That said, the entire storyline was raw and extremely poignant. The letters which Poppy received, were full of words of wisdom only a mother could give; a mothers touch if you will. It was the feeling of hope that managed to stir up some emotion from deep within; but it wasn’t the ugly crying, snot fest emotion. It was a heart-warming, thought-provoking and beautiful emotion. You know, the sort that is extremely hard to explain!
The concept of the storyline is certainly unique, but it really does warm the heart. For me, the downside of the novel was the lack of depth and detail, however, I adored the concept as it moved me in a way even I couldn’t explain. Pretty beautiful actually.