Monday, March 16, 2009

Review: Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers

Book Info:
Life on the Refrigerator Door: Notes Between a Mother and Daughter by Alice Kuipers
Audio Lenth: 1 hour and 11 min.
Publisher: Harper Audio (Sept 1, 2007)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Short Stories
Rating: 4/5

Claire and her mother are running out of time, but they don't know it. Not yet. Claire is wrapped up with the difficulties of her burgeoning adulthood—boys, school, friends, identity; Claire's mother, a single mom, is rushed off her feet both at work and at home. They rarely find themselves in the same room at the same time, and it often seems that the only thing they can count on are notes to each other on the refrigerator door. When home is threatened by a crisis, their relationship experiences a momentous change. Forced to reevaluate the delicate balance between their personal lives and their bond as mother and daughter, Claire and her mother find new love and devotion for one another deeper than anything they had ever imagined.

Heartfelt, touching and unforgettable, Life on the Refrigerator Door deftly captures the impenetrable fabric that connects mothers and daughters throughout the world and delivers universal lessons about love in a wonderfully simple and poignant narrative.

This audio book is very short at just over an hour of running time, but it packs an emotional punch in that short time frame.

When I first started listening to this book it made me sad. I think it's almost normal for parents and children to spend very little time together these days, but I remember eating together as a family almost every night for dinner when I was younger. That a mother and daughter need notes on a refrigerator to communicate is a sad development.

Once I got past my initial sadness at the lack of mom and daughter time and got into the story itself, I was hooked. This story is told in broad strokes, you don't get many details, but it still worked. The emotional intensity came through and I found myself hoping right along with Claire.

This audiobook has two narrators, one for the mom and one for the daughter, Claire. I really like audiobooks with more than one narrator, and this was no exception. It's much easier to distinguish the characters when they have noticeably different voices. The daughter's narration seemed a bit overdone to me at times, but I guess drama is the norm with a teenage girl.

I do wonder, though, if I missed something by not reading the book version. I wonder what their handwriting looked like, or if they drew each other doodles on the notes...The book is 240 pages, so I am guessing there is a lot of white space, with maybe a note or two on each page. If any of you have read the book, please let me know what the notes looked like.

This is a quick story that highlights the special mother and daughter bond. 4 stars


Literary Feline said...

Family dinners were mandatory in my family growing up. I thought it was so strange then when I found out my husband and his family didn't do the same. I had always wished I could get out of those family dinners at the time, but looking back, I appreciate those moments even more.

Sandy Nawrot said...

It is a sad sign of the times, I think, and I find myself fighting the trend every day. I am blessed that I can be home with my kids, and provide a stable environment that includes alot of communication.

I love audio books with multiple narrators too. It really captures the personalities much better than even one talented narrator.

Cheryl said...

Ooh sounds like a fun book to listen to. I will have to check it out

Melissa said...

Literary: My hubby's family always does dinner together too, and we both agree on thier importance.

Sandy: It is definitely a blessing to be home with your kids!

Cheryl: It was a good listen, and short, which is sometimes nice.