This book begins with a funeral cortège. At least it will warn you not to get your hopes up. And I would have hoped, without it. As it is, Jill Hucklesby’s Last Kiss of the Butterfly is a packet of Kleenex affair.
I’ve said a lot recently on children and teenagers dying in books. Well, I’ve decided that dying mothers are worse. Don’t ask me why, but that’s how I feel.
13-year-old Jaz spends the summer holidays marooned in a countryside cottage with her Mum, who’s recuperating from a cancer operation. The cottage is her Mum’s childhood home, so comes with memories for both of them. If it wasn’t for the illness, this would be a very idyllic trip down memory lane, with peace and quiet, away from it all.
Jill has written a really good story here; one that should provide useful support to girls in a similar situation. Jaz has good friends, a wonderful Dad, and there is an extremely fanciable young man, who knows about leeches and butterflies and dead swans.
If you can cope with sad books, then this is for you. Personally, I like a happy ending, but I’m trying to be mature about it this time.