by Ashley Ream
Pub. Date: March 6, 2012
Book received from: Publisher
Clementine Pritchard has decided she is going to kill herself in thirty days. This is the story about her wrapping up loose ends and fully coming to terms with her decision. She is organized about it, and buys her cemetery plot, her casket, the drugs to use to do it, and decides to hunt down her father that abandoned her family years ago. She has thought it all through, and has chosen suicide as the best route for her.
While reading Losing Clementine, the odd thing is that it is not a sad story, and it is not a dark story, as one might expect. Clementine has spent years trying to outrun and trying to control her inner demons, and she has decided that her death will bring a certain peace that she has not been able to find anywhere else. She is funny, sarcastic, and real. The story gives a day-by-day countdown to her day thirty ending, and in that time takes us on an emotional rollercoaster. You will find yourself rooting for Clementine to get better and find the one thing that might make her change her mind. But, then again, you will find yourself supporting her decision and coming to terms with it just as she has.
Losing Clementine is a book that forces the reader to leave any judgment outside its covers. Clementine has made her decision, and it is an informed one at that. She is not a tortured artist, or a tormented soul. She has simply had a life that has led her to her final thirty days. What we find is that Clementine is not weak. Quite to the contrary, she is one of the strongest women in fiction so far this year. She has made her choice on her own, it is her choice, it is informed, and there is no melodrama here. It is a story about dying in order to live, and living in order to die, and blurring the line of contradictions.
Ream has a writing style that flows from one page to the next, and makes it difficult to stop once you start. It is rare for an author to really convey sympathy, empathy, and understanding when it comes to what many see as questions of morality. However, she does so in a straightforward, expectant way that will not be ignored or judged, while making us rethink of what we ourselves are truly capable. The question that remains is whether by the end of thirty days she will change her mind. Will she find something to hold on to? Will she find a connection she never knew was there? Or will she stick with her decision and choose her ending? For those answers, you must read the book to find out. Even then, it is unsure as to whether Clementine will give us all the answers we seek from her, or whether she will keep some things to herself.
The Blog Tour for Losing Clementine is being hosted by HarperCollins Publishers. Check out the entire blog tour calendar.
This book can be purchased at Amazon, as well as your local independent bookseller.
For more about Ashley Ream, go to her website here.