Review of 'Unbecoming'

Review of 'Unbecoming' by Jenny Downham

“She watches the tears drip onto her skirt and spread like flowers and she knows this is the end of every future she’s ever imagined for herself.”

4/5 Stars

Author: Jenny Downham
Pages: 384
Price: $ 11.38
Publisher: David Fickling Books

Katie's life is falling apart: her best friend thinks she's a freak, her mother, Caroline, controls every aspect of her life, and her estranged grandmother, Mary, appears as if out of nowhere. Mary has dementia and needs lots of care, and when Katie starts putting together Mary's life story, secrets and lies are uncovered: Mary's illegitimate baby, her zest for life and freedom and men; the way she lived her life to the full yet suffered huge sacrifices along the way. As the relationship between Mary and Caroline is explored, Katie begins to understand her own mother's behavior, and from that insight, the terrors about her sexuality, her future, and her younger brother are all put into perspective.

Unbecoming was great. I wouldn’t say that I’m in love with it, but it wasn’t bad. So when Katie’s grandma came to live with them, the life of the small family was totally messed up. I was shocked how Caroline reacts to her mother. I couldn’t believe how repellent she was. I find it great how Katie cares about Mary. The idea with the book with the memories in which Katie writes Mary’s stories I like a lot! What bothered me is that Katie is so undetermined if she is a lesbian or not. I thought all the time “please make up your hand and don’t be a lesbian”. In principle I don’t mind, but for me it was not like Katie. Therefore I was really happy when she started dating with Jamie. Also the story of Mary’s life I found interesting. Even if a few scenes were exaggerated. For example the scene in which Mary takes Caroline to a date or something like this. Also I don’t like that Caroline cleared out and Mary took care of her children. For me that don’t fit in the whole picture of the book because Caroline reproaches Mary always for clearing out. The last scenes I liked a lot. All in one the book was great to read and I think that I’ll reread it at some time.

Get the book here: Amazon.com 

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