I know I know, it's been a while since last we blogged. But we're here now. So to discuss this month's book, The Night Rainbow by Claire King. We'd been given copies to review by the lovely folk at The Reading Agency. Edin's was incredibly busy for some reason and we struggled to make ourselves heard but the consensus (apart from Steve who doesn't count as he was only present by email) was that this was a nice read, nothing too challenging, nothing too demanding. It varied between us as to who spotted the plot 'twist' earliest - some figured it out early, others (ok me) didn't see it coming.
The problem with all books narrated by children is that at some point the plot requires that they share some knowledge or insight that is really too sophisticated for them and this was the problem here. Some of us were bothered by this, others of us, knowing this was a common problem, were willing to let it slide. The narrator, Pea, was charming and once in a while she would let something slip that betrayed just how lonely she was. She just wanted a hug from her mum bless her. Who could begrudge her an adult's insight once in a while? (Steve, that's who)
We also debated whether the portrayal of Pea's mother was too simplistic - depression can't always be reduced down to sleeping a lot. But again, for others this was academic. For me, the story was more about how a little girl coped with the loss of both her parents, one permanently, the other temporary but no less a loss.
We were all wise to the fact that Claude wouldn't be as bad as Pea's neighbour thought he was. Did the author make this obvious on purpose or was she hoping for a little misdirection? We didn't know.
The novel gave a strong sense of place, although that place may have been a little too idyllic to be realistic. We liked it anyway - the market scenes were excellent.
In short, a pleasant if not challenging read. But it did give us a chance to find out what a night rainbow was.