Title: Apple and Rain
Author: Sarah Crossan
Published: August 14th 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Length: 240 pages
I purchased a copy of this book.
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years away, Apple feels whole again. But just like the stormy Christmas eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bittersweet. It’s only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is that she begins to see things as they really are.
A story about sad endings
A story about happy beginnings
A Story to make you realise who is special
This book was one of those rare ones where I had no expectations going in and yet it still blew me out of the water. Such a stunningly heart-breaking book (how apt a cover for that!) and it genuinely made me stop and sigh for a moment when I was done.
Apple was abandoned by her mother when she was very young. She lives with her grandmother who is super strict and always embarrasses her. Apple can’t understand why her mum hasn’t come home yet but she thinks about the day that she left constantly –relying on her faded memory.
When Apple’s mother makes a surprise return to her daughter’s life, Apple can’t help but want to be around her. Then one day, her mother offers to let her move in and she does. But she’s in for a surprise. While her mother was away in America trying to become a successful actress, she had another child – Rain. Now Apple has to face living with a mother she barely knows and share a room with a little sister that believes her doll is a real child.
I love the relationship dynamics between all the family members in the novel. I could understand Apple’s frustration at having such a strict grandmother, but I could also understand that her gran was just trying to protect her. Apple’s need to be the perfect child for her estranged mother was heart-breaking and I felt so terribly bad for her when things didn’t turn out how she had always pictured them.
Apple’s relationship with Rain was beautiful to see unfold. Obviously animosity at first evolved into something more mutual – if a little strained. As Apple slowly begins to realise that her mother is not the perfect woman she had thought, it was really interesting to see how she handled herself in the situations she found herself in. As a young girl, I felt horrible for what her mother was putting her through.
The exploration of relationships in this novel – of long lost family members being reunited after such a long time, of the reality not living up to the memories, of the hard work that someone will put in to be loved and accepted and still fall short – made for really interesting reading and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the story unfold.
This is definitely a story for people who like to see characters develop and evolve, for people who love character driven stories that tackle difficult topics like abandonment or estrangement, people who like stories that revolve around family dynamics. I highly recommend this one.
Affiliate: Book Depository
About the Author
Sarah Crossan is Irish. She graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Literature before training as an English and Drama teacher at Cambridge University and worked to promote creative writing in schools before leaving teaching to write full time.
She completed her Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Warwick in 2003 and in 2010 received an Edward Albee Fellowship for writing.
She currently lives in NYC.