Back of the book :
‘Where are you coming from with that accent of yours ?’ He asks.
‘Nowhere,’ I reply. ‘ I’m from nowhere’
‘Everyone’s from somewhere’ he says.
‘Not me’, I reply silently.
Clemency Smittson was adopted as a baby and the only connection she has to her birth mother is a cardboard box hand-decorated with butterflies.
Now an adult, Clem decides to make a drastic life change and move to Brighton, where she was born. Clem has no idea that while there she’ll meet someone who knows all about her butterfly box and what happened to her birth parents.
As the tangled truths about her adoption and childhood start to unravel, a series of shocking events cause Clem to reassess whether the price of having contact with her birth parents could be too high to pay …
What I think :
Clemency has just moved from Bristol to Brighton. Clem was born in Brighton but then adopted when she was a baby. She has moved back because her relationship of almost 20 years with Seth has broken up. She is renting a Flat on the sea front with her adopted mum, Heather. Clem’s adopted dad, Don has recently died of Cancer so that’s why she’s staying with Clem. She has never really wanted to find her ‘birth’ family because she’s never felt the need, she’s always been happy with her ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’. However there always was a member of her ‘family’ that she never quite got on with, and that is her ‘cousin’ Nancy. She is a bit of a bitch and she’s always told Clem that she’s not her ‘real’ cousin, so she doesn’t really count. With that always lurking in the back of her head, she decides maybe its time to think about that ‘Other’ family.
She only has one thing from when she was adopted her from her birth mother, and that is a Large box that is painted with very pretty butterflies. She keeps her most favorite photos in there.
Clem is a jewellery maker, she takes rings and necklaces etc and ‘re-loves’ them, makes them into other things One day whilst she’s at a care home talking to a resident there about re-loving her jewellery, she meets a girl that looks just like her. She wonders how this could be, however it turns out that this girl ‘Abi’ is actually her ‘Birth sister’, and so Clem’s journey begins to find and meet her ‘birth’ Family …
Dorothy has written Clemency so well that you really feel for her, I really can’t imagine not knowing who gave birth to me and who I really am, I myself would really want to go digging about to find out exactly what happened back then and why. I also really felt for her ‘Mum’ Heather, having only just lost her husband, she now believes that she is also going to lose her child to her ‘birth’ mother who gave her away all those years ago only to want her back again now.
it’s such a fantastic story about families and past happenings that refuse to stay in the past. It also questions whether things should be left there or revisited and addressed. Quite simply this a truly beautiful story about one girls journey to find herself with all the happiness and heartache that entails.
I have always loved Dorothy’s books, she always has such a knack of getting right into the heart of the matter. I think this one has got to be the best one of the lot, it has such fantastic characters and so many things happening right from the start and with all the small and big secrets that emerge along the way, this is one unputdownable book.
I give this fabulous book 10/10.
Published by Century (Penguin House) on 09/04/15.
I purchased my copy at Tesco £7.00.