I was sent this book via Netgalley for an honest review, thank you to the publisher for sending me this copy.
Millie Bird is a seven year old girl who always wears red wellington boots to match her red, curly hair. But one day, Millie's mum leaves her alone beneath the Ginormous Women's underwear rack in a department store, and doesn't come back.
Agatha Pantha is an eighty two year old woman who hasn't left her home since her husband died. Instead, she fills the silence by yelling at passers-by, watching loud static on TV, and maintaining a strict daily schedule. Until the day Agatha spies a little girl across the street.
Karl the Touch Typist is eighty seven years old and once typed love letters with his fingers on to his wife's skin. He sits in a nursing home, knowing that somehow he must find a way for life to begin again. In a moment of clarity and joy, he escapes.
Together, Millie, Agatha and Karl set out to find Millie's mum. Along the way, they will discover that the young can be wise, that old age is not the same as death, and that braking the rules once in a while might just be the key to a happy life.
My immediate thoughts from reading the synopsis to this book was that it's quirky, and possibly quite humorous to some degree and having read some favourable reviews I really wanted to start reading.
Sadly, I think the trouble I faced with this book was the lack of connection I had with it. I'm not from a broken home or a bad childhood fortunately and I failed to see how a seven year old could understand so much that had happened to them. Perhaps when you are young and bad things happen to you, you have some understanding but Millie certainly seemed quite mature at that age in my opinion. This isn't to say I didn't feel any empathy towards Millie, Agatha and Karl I did but I guess I couldn't connect with them on a certain relatable level as someone else might.
There were some humorous moments and the characters are in their own way quite quirky, but the ways in which the trio tried to find Millie's mum was a bit "slapstick" so to speak. The stealing of vehicles, stealing money, graffiti, fires etc it just all seemed a bit too daft for me- it was funny to an extent but not the humour I was looking for and I don't think this kind of humour was right for an young adult fiction book.
Other than the plot being loosely about finding Millie's mum there wasn't much else to follow other than her obsessive behaviour over death which was a little too morbid and depressing for me in a book as she keeps reminding people they're going to die.
The ending was a little abrupt and left me hanging which came as a surprise and not the closure I was expecting from this story.
Overall, a quirky, sad, and strange read. I found moments of humour and sadness but not quite in the manner I was expecting, and I didn't expect to not like this book as much as I thought I would but the lack of connection with the characters may be partly to blame for this.