This book has actually only just returned to my bookshelves, as I lent it to my father who is reading a lot of books at an amazing speed at the moment. I hope his stamp of approval will help you believe that just because it is very pink, it doesn’t mean that it’s at all girly or unserious. Broken Soup tells the story of Rowan Clark, whose brother recently died in an accident. She now suddenly finds herself responsible for looking after her little sister Stroma, because her dad has ran away and her mum has sank into a deep depression. Then a stranger gives her a dropped photo negative, which she is sure is a mistake. When she befriends him and develops the photograph, her confusion only deepens.
It might sound strange, given the heavy subject matter, but I have read Broken Soup several times as a feel-good novel. Valentine’s writing style is very good, and she deals with different forms of grief so well that reading it feels strangely comforting. The book holds several very sad scenes that are also very beautiful and many strong and interesting characters that you really start to care for. Ultimately, the Guardian quote on the front captures it best: “For all the tears you may shed on the way, Broken Soup is a joy to read.”
‘The Weather Today’ is a challenge I set myself in which every day(ish) I will take a random book from my bookshelves and write a few sentences about it.