I pick up the lavender-scented mauve paper. It is from the stationery set I bought for her last Christmas. The scent still lingers. I inhale deeply, breathing in hope and joy, and pleasure that she has finally used my gift.
Then I open it and the sweet smell of flowers turns sour. I feel sick. I want to vomit. The paper trembles in my hands. Is this a joke? My mother loves to joke, especially when she is the only one laughing.
When Eve’s mother disappears, Eve’s dad and aunt tell her there’s no point talking about it. It’s best if we don’t, her dad tells her. Not to anybody. People don’t need to know the details. So, though Eve longs to visit her mother, she doesn’t. Instead, she tries to carry on as normal, cleaning and cooking for her dad, and going to school. She makes a new friend, Summer, who shows her how to do things she would never have done before.
When her dad brings home his new girlfriend, Eve realises things are not going to return to normal. She finds ways of controlling the chaos around her and of controlling the mess her life has become. But will anything help?
griEVE is a powerful story about coping with loss. It deals with confronting topics such as self-harm, depression, and dysfunctional families in an absorbing storyline which will draw young readers in. Eve is honest with the reader, even while she is not being honest with herself, and the reader is able to recognise the truth behind many of the events which Eve refuses to understand.
This is the kind of novel which refuses to be put down, with the reader compelled to keep reading to find out what will happen to Eve, how she will find a way through the minefield of her life. Teenage girls especially will find it compelling.
griEVE, by Lizzie Wilcox
Scholastic Press, 2007