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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Review: The Apple Tart of Hope

Author: Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

Release date: Hardback 5th June 2014
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Target audience: 10+
UK Publisher: Orion

The Apple Tart of Hope is a story of friendship, first love and hope. It’s also about doing good things in the world and being kind to others.

This book begins with a memorial service to celebrate the life of Oscar Dunleavy: A fourteen year old boy who disappeared off the pier and is believed to dead. In the pews sits his best friend Meg. She grew up with Oscar and knows him better than anyone. Or at least she did. She’s been away in New Zealand these last few months and something came between them. Meg can’t believe that Oscar would take his own life and neither does his younger brother Stevie. Together can they find out the truth about just what did happen to Oscar while Meg was away?

This is a sweet novel that is both charming and challenging. The issue of suicide in young people’s fiction is not an easy one to write about. But this book is not about a boy who commits suicide. In fact by chapter two, we know that Oscar is not in fact dead. The author is right to make that clear very early on because although this book does deal with bullying, manipulation, rumours and guilt, it is not a depressing sad book. It’s a book about keeping faith and hope alive.

Oscar is not your average fourteen year old boy. He’s sweet and sensitive. He has a special magic about him. He can sense other people’s emotions and rescues them with his homemade apple tarts. Meg and Oscar lived next door to each other and would speak for hours about anything and everything from their bedroom windows.

The split narrative worked well in this novel. Seeing how both Meg and Oscar feel and why they do the things they do, is bitter-sweet. As the reader you know, they are making mistakes in their communication but you also keep heart that they’ll figure it out.

The Apple Tart of Hope was a quick read. It was brimming with warmth and love. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Read this if you’re a sentimental and love the sort of story where you really care about the characters.

Read it if you loved:
The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech
The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan
Source: Borrowed from the school library

The paperback is released 12th February 2015.

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