My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: copy of book courtesy of Simon and Schuster via The Reading Room
My mother has no ideas about computers, smart phones, and most especially, the internet. She absolutely did not and do not have the slightest clue of what I got up to online. I notice that whilst I’m online and have registered on a number of social networks, I’ve still not got that much ahead of my mother in web-knowledge. And this is what scares me of when my son reach his teenage years. I have to admit that reading Reconstructing Amelia has got me thinking a lot of what I might have to face in about a decade…
This book has 2 alternate perspectives, Kate (the mother) and Amelia (the daughter). With Amelia, we are privy to her thoughts and the events leading up to her death whilst with Kate, there was a bit of time jumps between her past (before Amelia), a more recent past (interaction with Amelia), and mostly the present as she struggles with Amelia’s death. At times, it gets confusing but overall, it built up Kate as one of us, a woman with baggage but is working her best with what she’s got. I dreaded each Amelia chapters, however, because I just didn’t need any more teen angst (been there!). She had her head on straight despite everything and was amazingly strong.
The story kept me hanging in there as it kept developing in a more complex plot / possibilities; anonymous texts, sexual identity, bullying, etc. But then, the ending, I felt, was a letdown. I thought it was somewhat anti-climactic after all the layering intricacies provided by the rest of the novel. Fortunately, it was kept short so it was quickly over with.
I realised lately that I like reading books about mothers because since I became a mother, I’m a lot more interested in what that means to others. A lot of the time, of course, the fictional experiences I’ve read are a very different to mine (this one, especially) however these stories highlighted the importance of parenting. Nevertheless, there are just instances where whatever you do, it is still a two way street –the child will also need to respond, to reach out to enable you to help them.
Thank you, Simon & Schuster & The Reading Room for providing copy of the book