The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss

Pearl’s mother died giving birth to her premature sister. To Pearl, her sister resembles a rat. To her father and grandmother, an angel. Pearl’s mother, throughout the book, makes appearances to Pearl, coming back from the dead. Pearl must conceal her hatred for her mother’s child in front of her. But then she discovers the truth. The truth of why The Rat was born, the truth of who nursed Pearl as a baby. And it is shocking.

This mainly follows Pearl’s emotional struggles with her mother dying, insinuated in her temperamental existence towards her family and friends, and hatred for her baby sister. This is morbid and heavy with some bad language. As Pearl is a teenager, her thoughts, views, moods and actions resemble a teen, which is why I would recommend this to a twelve-year-old and up. Pearl’s mother appears throughout the book, yet I feel it could be made clearer if it were just Pearl imagining her. However, the twist at the end is unexpected, relevant to the book and Pearl’s emotional struggles are represented well by her temperamental moods and mean actions.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss

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