Saturday, February 11, 2012

Losing Clementine-Ashley Ream

Losing Clementine

Ashley Ream

Morrow, Mar 6 2012, $14.99

ISBN: 9780062093639

Extremely depressed and off her meds artist Clementine Pritchard decided to commit suicide. She has given herself thirty days to determine her exit strategy. To begin with Clementine fires her shrink as she figures death means she does not need to see any doctor. Then she lets go of her assistant Jenny Pritchard who barely holds back the tears with the news. That done she tosses her tea set out the window nearly braining odious Mrs. Epstein. The countdown has begun in earnest as Clementine knows the only individual who will truly miss her is Chuckles the cat; yet she also refuses to leave a mess behind for whoever has to clean up her death.

The key to this dark often graveyard amusing character study is the profound complex look at depression but does so without using the mental illness as an alibi to justify Clementine’s erratic behavior. Ironically as she plans to kill herself, she does so in an orderly manner; mindful of a leaper taking off their watch so it does not break. Readers will wonder throughout whether Clementine will take the poison she bought in Tijuana or become saved like in It’s A Wonderful Life. With a nod to Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why I Killed Myself, Ashley Ream provides a powerful tale as Chuckles becomes the barometer of Clementine’s “To be or not to be” life altering decision.

Harriet Klausner

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