The great thing about a book group is the chance to read novels and literature that you would normally pass by in a book shop or your local library. To this end, the Hospice book worms threw caution to the wind and took on a YA (young adult) novel. It has been a while since we were all teenagers so this genre is a huge leap for us. Some YA do have dark themes and this particular book was no exception as it was fantastically written from the view point of the deceased! A massive feat by the author in providing a very different point of view for the reader.
Minty is the story of twins, Minty and Jess. A tale of life as inseparable siblings going through the motions of their world and all those that they share it with. A trip to the beach one day ends in tragedy but is there another world out there where people go when they leave this one?
Elie in Fife, where the book is set, has a wonderful coastline of white sandy beaches, filled with nooks and crannies just waiting to be explored by young and old alike. If you are ever in that area, head over to Lady’s Tower, Ruby beach and the ornate rocks surrounding these wonderful places and you will get an idea of where Minty and Jess where on that fateful day – and a little insight into the authors mind. A book trail, if you will, just on your doorstep should you wish to find it.
We were very luck to have the author, Christina Banach, in our company for our last meeting. Embracing everything ‘Minty’ we bombarded her with questions about her work, her research and how she came up with the story.
Her attention to detail was evident and we were honoured to get to hold the actual revised manuscript for the book. As a reader, you can easily forget the effort and time that is needed to produce the end product. Looking at the scribbles, highlighter pen marks, questions marks and delete prompts it was easy to see what an ominous task it was.
Christina is currently working on her next novel and we can’t wait to read it!
You can read more about Christina and her books on her website: www.christinabanach.com
As a twin, it is fantastic to find such a moving book that realistically captures the bond between identical siblings. I thought this book conveyed the desperate situation the sisters and their family find themselves in, in a very genuine and thought provoking way. Christina Banach does a fantastic job of making the reader stop and think – maybe there is life after death, we just need to believe it ourselves in our moments of grief.
This is the first YA novel I have read in my adult years and I very much admire the way it deals with loss, teenage angst and love. I would suggest you have a box of tissues at the ready as there are some very poignant moments which made me really consider my own family and how I would cope with what life can throw your way when you least expect it. I can’t wait to read more from this new exciting author – what a wonderful debut! 5/5
TOTAL SCORE: 25/40