Thursday 16 February 2023

Review: This Could Be Everything By Eva Rice

 It’s 1990. The Happy Mondays are in the charts, a 15-year-old called Kate Moss is on the cover of the Face magazine, and Julia Roberts wears thigh-boots for the poster for a new movie called Pretty Woman

February Kingdom is nineteen years old when she is knocked sideways by family tragedy. Then one evening in May she finds an escaped canary in her kitchen and it sparks a glimmer of hope in her. With the help of the bird called Yellow, Feb starts to feel her way out of her own private darkness, just as her aunt embarks on a passionate and all-consuming affair with a married American drama teacher.   
THIS COULD BE EVERYTHING is a coming-of-age story with its roots under the pavements of a pre-Richard Curtis-era Notting Hill that has all but vanished. It’s about what happens when you start looking after something more important than you, and the hope a yellow bird can bring… 

Review: This was very definitely a coming of age story. It is intense and sweet and nostalgic all at the same time. We spend the book with February which is intimate almost to the point of claustrophobic because February doesn’t like to leave the house an awful lot. February has seen a lot of tragedy in her life but we don’t know the full extent of the tragedy at the beginning of the book. Her life story unveils itself throughout the novel at an achingly slow pace. 

I actually really enjoyed the slow pace of the book. Normally I prefer a novel that keeps me turning the pages because of the fact that I can’t wait to find out what will happen because of a revelation that has just occurred but in this case, I kept turning the pages because it was a gentle read but so intriguing at the same time. It was a great rainy Saturday on the sofa read. 

The cast list of this novel is fairly small and so you might think the fact that all of the other characters are somewhat prickly could be a tun off but actually I enjoyed the fact that I didn't particularly warm to the other because it meant that I really sided with February the whole way through. I loved the time set for this novel. The fact that she listens to the charts on the radio and goes down to Our Price to satisfy her love of music. It was giving me Caitlin Moran How to Build a Girl vibes but quieter and a bit posher. I really enjoyed this slow burn coming of age novel. It was definitely outside my comfort zone but February’s story stuck with me for a long time.

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