Title: Life on the Refrigerator Door
Author: Alice Kuipers
Genre: Domestic Fiction
Number of Pages: 239
Life on the Refrigerator Door was one of those books that was entertaining to read, but probably won’t really stick with me that much in the long run. I became interested in reading it because of it’s cool format, which is an offbeat take on the epistolary genre- the whole story is told through notes a mom and a teenage daughter leave for each other on the fridge as they go about their day.
The mother is a single parent and a nurse, which means that she’s not around a lot and the daughter doesn’t get a chance to spend time with her as much as she’d like to. The girl, Claire, is understandably frustrated by the whole situation, but I still couldn’t help getting annoying over what a complete brat she was about the whole thing. I know she’s a teenager and teenagers are typically sullen by nature, but it wasn’t like her mom was spending her time bar-hopping and chasing guys.
She was working her ass off to support herself and her daughter and I thought even a high schooler should have the sense to treat her better than she did. Later in the book the mom finds out she has cancer and Claire is forced to cope with her mother’s mortality and her own uncertain future. I felt sorry for the mom because she’d worked so hard all her life and probably hadn’t gotten to do half the things she actually dreamed about doing but Claire was still pretty much a spoiled brat even when her mother started to get really sick.
By the end she’s wises up but it feels pretty abrupt. The notes exchanged between Claire and her mother are simple enough to feel authentic, but it also prevents the reader from getting a clearer view of their lives outside of reminders on post-it notes. It’s a very quick read and it kept my interest throughout, even though nothing happened in it that was particularly shocking or unexpected.
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