‘I blow her a kiss. She catches it and puts it in her pocket for later like she always does.
And then it happens.
Why doesn’t she look? Why doesn’t the bus brake? Why is my body frozen?’
Sixteen-year-old Clementine Footner adores her aunt, Stella. She is fun, eccentric and full of life, and Clementine would follow her anywhere. But then disaster strikes and Stella is ripped from the world in a tragic accident.
To make things even worse, Clementine finds Stella’s old diaries, which reveal another side to her aunt that she isn’t prepared for. Why did no one tell her? Didn’t she deserve to know the truth? Clementine feels betrayed, angry and hurt. Who is this Stella—the one in the diaries? And how is Clementine ever going to feel normal again?
The first time I started to read Divine Clementine by Hayley S. Kirk, I immediately had to put it back down. Not because I didn’t like it, but rather that I was sitting in a public hotel room and had started to cry. It was a little awkward. Some people casually flicked their eyes over the corner of their magazines and newspapers, with concerned expressions on their faces. (I’m still not sure if they thought I was just overly emotional or mad…)
The second time I picked up the book, I chose a quieter place, where I could sit and simply absorb the story; I don’t know how much time passed, though I didn’t leave my little haven until I had finished.
Clementine’s journey was easy to sympathise with, because her reactions, her anger, her sorrow and especially those moments when she was caught off-guard and a smile escaped her lips, they were times when I thought, yes, I can relate; I’ve felt that.
The voice was the main aspect that really caught my attention and pulled me along. At the start, Clementine’s grief and pain were ever-present companions; it truly felt like her world had shattered. What followed from there was a very realistic account of loss and disillusionment, as Clementine struggled to find her place in a world without her aunt.
Divine Clementine is a novel about coping with the loss of a loved one, the aftermath that comes with grief and a journey to finding out what really matters.
Available now: Random House RRP$18.95