Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review: "Losing Clementine" by Ashley Ream

Successful artist Clementine Pritchard has had enough of battling her personal demons and has decided to end her life in exactly 30 days. She likes the fact that she is in control and is making a conscious choice to end her life, rather than letting fate decide when and how the end will come. She has enough animal tranquilizers to send her peacefully into oblivion, so Clementine sets off to tie up the loose ends in her life.

Along the way she will make peace with her ex-husband, find out a family secret that will shock her to her core, make peace with a long-time enemy and say good-bye to her beloved cat. She will buy her own funeral plot and plan her own funeral but even she will not be able to predict what will happen next.

Despite the fact that Losing Clementine chronicles the last thirty days of one woman`s life, it manages to be funny. It is also raw and emotional and honest, and I loved that about this book. As someone who has witnessed how depression can affect a person, I found that debut author Ashley Ream`s depiction of a woman who has been to the depths of despair and back was both fair and honest. Ream accurately describes the life of a woman who quite literally cannot get out of bed in the morning, lending important perspective to this novel.

Before you come to the conclusion that this novel is only darkness and death, I can attest to the fact that it is not. There are plenty of moments of laughter and sweetness and light dispersed throughout the book and you find those in just the right places.

I thoroughly enjoyed this well-written and poignant novel and cannot recommend it highly enough. As Clementine Pritchard begins to find herself while going through the process of losing herself I found myself rooting for her and for any woman who has to struggle daily to be able to see the light. My thanks to HarperCollins for providing me with a review copy of this novel.