Friday, 1 February 2013
Review: Red Ink by Julie Mayhew
When her mother is knocked down and killed by a London bus, fifteen-year-old Melon Fouraki is left with no family worth mentioning. Her mother, Maria, never did introduce Melon to a 'living, breathing' father. The indomitable Auntie Aphrodite, meanwhile, is hundreds of miles away on a farm in Crete, and is unlikely to be jumping on a plane and coming to East Finchley anytime soon. But at least Melon has 'The Story'. 'The Story' is the Fourakis family fairytale. A story is something. RED INK is a powerful coming-of-age tale about superstition, denial and family myth.
Red ink is a brilliant coming of age story which I enjoyed thoroughly
At the start of the book you meet Melon. Melon is 15 and has just lost her mother, the only real family she has, and has found herself alone in the world. The story follows her as she starts to find out more about her past and where she comes from.
One thing I really enjoyed about this book was the way in which the story was told. It flips between present day and then flashes back to different points in Melon's past so you can learn more about where she has come from. I really enjoyed this method of story telling and loved digging around and finding out more about the main character.
Another thing I really enjoyed about this book is that Melon herself is brilliantly funny. She has a brilliant sense of humour and refuses to let the fact that her mother has died get in the way of this to the point where it makes other people around her a bit uncomfortable leaving them not quite sure what to say. I thought this awkwardness of knowing how to treat someone after such a tragic loss was brilliantly realistic.
Another part of the book is the story that Melon has been told about her past and her family since she was a little girl. I wasn't quite sure how it all fit into the book as a novel at first but loved seeing how it developed and added to the book as a whole by the end.
The book itself was engaging throughout and kept me completely fascinated the more I found out about Melon and her recent past often alongside her. I thought the way in which these revelations were revealed was done really cleverly and I enjoyed piecing together the jigsaw as I went along.
All in all a brilliant coming of age story which a brilliant protagonist who you wanted to get behind and root for from page one. Well worth a read.