Title: The Clay Girl
Author: Heather Tucker
Publisher: ECW Press
How I received: Requested from ECW
Pub Date: October 11, 2016
Pages: 352 pages
Genre: Fiction, Magical Realism, Coming of Age, Mental Illness
ISBN #: 9781770413030
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Vincent Appleton smiles at his daughters, raises a gun, and blows off his head. For the Appleton sisters, life had unraveled many times before. This time it explodes. Eight-year-old Hariet, known to all as Ari, is dispatched to Cape Breton and her Aunt Mary, who is purported to eat little girls…With Ari on the journey is her steadfast companion, Jasper, an imaginary seahorse. But when they arrive in Pleasant Cove, they instead find refuge with Mary and her partner Nia. As the tumultuous ’60’s ramp up in Toronto, Ari is torn from her aunts and forced back to her twisted mother and fractured sisters. Her new stepfather Len and his family offer hope, but as Ari grows to adore them, she’s severed violently from them too, when her mother moves in with the brutal Dick Irwin. Through the sexual revolution and drug culture of the 1960s, Ari struggles with her father’s legacy and her mother’s addictions-testing limits with substances that numb and men who show her kindness. She spins through a chaotic decade of loss and love, the devilish and divine, with wit, tenacity, and the astonishing balance unique to seahorses. The Clay Girl is a beautiful tour de force that traces the story of a child, sculpted by kindness, cruelty and the extraordinary power of imagination, and her families-the one she’s born in to and the one she creates.
Wow. My book is so tabbed up with post-its because of this great story. There are so many parts and passages that I want to go back and read that I had to mark them all.
I loved all the characters in this story, even the evil ones! The author, Heather Tucker, did an amazing job describing and fleshing each one out and they all took on a life of their own.
This book deals with coming of age, mental illness, alcoholism, abuse, triumph and even a bit of magic. I’m so glad I read it. Pick it up! You’ll be happy you did. I look forward to reading anything this author writes in the future.
Thank you to ECW Press for sending this amazing book to read and do an honest review!