Of Love And Loss
The Museum Of You by Carys Bray is a contemporary novel and wow… what a read! It is realistic. It is open and honest. It is a very raw study of grief and loss and love. It was an amazingly powerful read.
Clover is twelve years old. It is the summer holidays. She has a love of museums and decides to rearrange a bedroom into a museum of you. Clover never knew her Mum but spends her time trying to know her through her things. Clover is grieving for someone she never knew. The reader feels her loss and emptiness and her desire to fill the space in her life.
Clover’s Dad Darren is grieving and has been for twelve years. He says “people aren’t speed bumps, you don’t get over them.” Darren has never had any sort of closure on his grief. He is still feeling just as hurt as ever. Carys Bray shows how grief is linked to love through the character of Darren. “Grief never goes away…it’s only the other side of love.” Great love equals great pain when death steps in. The reader empathises with Darren’s love and grief.
The novel has the theme of friendship. Friendships form in all sorts of ways. Clover and Dagmar are thrust together in friendship as both are on the fringes of their peers. In contrast Darren and Colin formed a friendship in childhood which has persisted into adulthood. Theirs is a familiar style friendship. Everyone needs friends who will stand by them and walk through life with them.
Carys Bray tackles the subject of post natal depression within The Museum Of You. It is sensitively presented. The reader finds it easy to empathise, especially with presenting a stiff upper lip and pretending everything is fine.
The novel has its light hearted moments too. Mrs Mackerel who lives next door is full of malapropisms that are hilarious. Her kind heart and manner of speaking inject humour into the novel.
I loved the style of The Museum Of You. It had a very engaging style of writing. The reader ‘felt’ they were there as the characters narrated their way through the novel.
I really enjoyed reading a contemporary novel set in England. I recognised television programmes, popular songs, places etc that were referenced. As an avid viewer of Bake Off, I actually remembered some of the moments referenced!
The Museum Of You was my first novel by Carys Bray. I found myself completely caught up in the novel. Carys Bray writes with honesty and openness. The reader can empathise with all the very likeable and realistic characters. I shall certainly be hunting out more novels by Carys Bray.
I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.