The Night Rainbow by Claire King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
'Under the sweltering heat of the summer sun, five-year-old Pea - and her vivid imagination - run wild in the meadows behind her home on the edge of a small village in Southern France.
Pea’s father died in an accident, and now she only has her little sister, Margot, for company. Their mother is too sad to take care of them; she left her happiness in the hospital last year, along with the first baby.
Overwhelmed by grief, isolated from the other villagers, and pregnant again, Maman has withdrawn to a place where Pea cannot reach her, no matter how hard she tries.
When Pea meets Claude, a neighbour who seems to love the meadow as she does, she wonders if he could be their new papa. But the villagers view their friendship with suspicion. What secret is Claude keeping in his strange, empty house?'
This has been a book that has been on my TBR pile for a long time, finally I got round to reading it and I am unsure on how to actually rate and review this book. It is like nothing I have ever read before.
This story is told by Pea a five and a half year old girl, I struggled with this concept to begin with, I am a teacher who teaches this age group and some of the vocabulary used I found a little unbelievable, especially by Margot Pea's 4 year old sister. She is very wise for her years and I had to regularly tell myself she was the younger of the two.
I struggled with my emotions through this book, the children just want to make their mother happy and dream up challenges they can do to make this a reality; as since Pea's father died the mother has never really had the time for them. This has left Pea and Margot to their own devises most of the time, which I personally struggled to deal with while reading.
Pea and Margot spend a lot of their time in the meadows, this is where they meet Claud. This also I found was a strange relationship and as an adult, at times I feared for the children and couldn't work out what he was up to. This shows through this novel, how easy it is for a child to trust a stranger and how easy they can be led. Yet again something I found difficult to read.
I don't want to say an awful lot about the plot as it will give it away. I found it hard to get into initially, due to my own struggles with the book I feel. However I also found it a bit slow, from finishing the book I understand why this is the case and why it was necessary to build up the characters and your feelings for them.
Just over half way through the book I had twigged - (this is all I can say without giving it away) but then spent the rest of the book looking for clues. Once I had twigged, yet again my emotions took a turn.
I am finding it difficult to rate this book because of the way it made me feel and how the lasting effect has had on me. I think though this is a brilliantly written story and Claire King has done it justice. If you want something a bit different I would recommend this. I have rated this book as 4* down to the way it has been written and the way the book made me feel.
This was not my usual read, but it was nice to read something a little different.