This book is one of the nominations for Hounslow Teen Read Award 2016. Faye Bird is a local author, and the book is set in and around Twickenham and Teddington. I kind of enjoyed that because I kept trying to guess where she was and what school she went to!
Anyway…. The book is about a teenage girl called Ana who believes that she lived a previous life as a young woman called Emma. She keeps getting flashbacks where she is involved in the death of a child that she knows – near a river. Her relationship with her ‘mum’ is complicated because she remembers her previous parents so clearly that this woman who thinks she is her mother isn’t. A bit of a complicated concept as the woman obviously gave birth to her. Ana feels that she cannot share any of these previous memories with her ‘mum’ and, to me this is the most frustrating part of the book, she doesn’t tell anyone what’s going on all the way through.
Ana goes to visit her nan in hospital (who she is close to but still doesn’t tell any of her secrets) and the lady in the next bed is connected to her previous life. She starts talking to her and she unlocks some more memories about what happened before. She goes to visit this woman and learns more about her past life, eventually unlocking all the events and bringing the book to its conclusion.
I liked the idea of this book; it was clever. The blurb kind of sells it like, ‘has anything happened to you that you feel you have lived before?’ which I think has happened to everyone (or maybe just me?!). The character herself annoyed me because I wanted her to be more open about what was going on, I also felt that she was a bit harsh with her ‘mum’, it’s not like it was her fault! It was interesting to think about what I would do in her situation though, I suppose if someone told you that they had lived a past life and gave you intimate details about it, it would freak you out slightly and you would probably find it quite difficult to believe. A good read that stretches your imagination. At the end I couldn’t work our whether it was actually a past life experience or just a confused girl who wanted a bit of an adventure! You decide.