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Life on the Refrigerator Door
Notes Between a Mother and Daughter, a novel

by Alice Kuipers

      Claire and her mother both lead busy lives, and a lot of their communication is through notes left on the fridge door. At first, these mainly involve reminding each other about shopping, who is cooking, feeding the rabbit, exams and the weather, as Claire dashes off to school or to meet friends and her doctor mother works late. But then, a darker note creeps in, as Mom finds a lump in her breast. Suddenly, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time left for doing the things that matter, and Claire and her mother must make time for each other for more than just writing notes.

Here is a very poignant book, that says as much about modern life as it does about the tragedy of terminal illness. The two characters flit in and out of each other’s lives barely meeting, until time starts to run out. Then it is the little things that matter, such as time spent together, a good meal or a laugh about something silly. It is a very sad book – it is not hard to guess the outcome – but it certainly makes you think about the things that matter, and making time for them. This is Alice Kuiper’s debut novel, and I hope she goes on to write many more thought-provoking books told in such an original, and succinct, way.

The Book

Macmillan UK
August 23, 2007
Fiction / Contemporary
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2007
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