Apple’s had no contact with her mother for eleven years. Not since the night she vaguely remembers, when Nana told Mum to leave. Now Mum is back, bringing with her thrills and treats and all the things Nana doesn’t allow. But she has another surprise too: Apple’s half-sister Rain. After all these years, the last thing Apple wants is to share her mother with some bratty, irritating little sister.
I read Apple and Rain in one big gulp. The story is simple, but the book rests upon strong, convincing characters and lots of emotional impact. It’s hard enough to be a teen, the book says, without having to deal with everyone else’s problems too. Not a new thing to say, but said here with such a delicate touch that it feels new. Apple’s experiments with poetry fit into the narrative seamlessly too, giving us further insight into how she’s feeling. I must admit to being often inclined to skip bits of poetry within prose but these seems necessary and important.
Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2015