Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Unwell by Marie Chow. She kindly sent me a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I also had an interview with Marie which I posted in a separate post earlier today.
This is the synopsis from Amazon and I actually think Unwell is better than this makes it seem it will be: (I think I’ve read a different synopsis somewhere else maybe?)
How do you tell your child that you won’t be there when they grow up? UNWELL is the raw, honest story of a mother who writes to her unborn child, sharing her decision of choosing not to be a mother. She doesn’t choose abortion. Nor does she consider adoption. Instead, she decides to give her child a fighting chance in life, without the angst and drama that’s shaped her own bittersweet life.
With a poignant lack of emotion, the young mother shares her life story. As the child of Asian parents who moved to America early in her life, the mother shares how her life disintegrated after her parents’ divorce. From upper middle class suburban to sharing her mean aunt’s house to a one bedroom apartment in a shabby neighborhood, this mother endures the indignity that comes with the change of status. From her father’s absence to her mother becoming a married man’s mistress, her story reads like a tragic Victorian novel set in the 21st century, but that’s where the similarity ends—she is definitely not a shy country miss and she certainly did not take the easy way out.
I don’t usually leave long gaps between when I read a book and when I review it. But I actually read this a couple of weeks ago during Dewey’s Readathon. So I wrote a little bit about it in my update post for that. I’ll try to expand on that in my review.
Unwell isn’t an easy book. By that I don’t mean that it’s a hard slog you have to force yourself through but that it’s one that makes you think and covers different subjects so you can’t just skim and drift through it as escapism. That actually is one of the best things about the book – the fact that it does that but still manages to be on that’s hard to put down and can be blown through in a short period of time (or at least it was for me). Because this covers the main character’s life of diferent periods as she looks back on her life it changes in it’s feel as you read to represent this. But it does it so well you almost don’t notice and it just feels right.
I was bugged by a couple of things in the book though – specifically that this is a book where we never find out the main character’s name (something which seems to be getting more common) and that we don’t find out what happens to the mother – is my feeling of what she planned to do correct or is it something else? Often in my reviews I muse on the possibility of a sequel. I have to saw in the case of Unwell I hope there isn’t a sequel because as much as I’m wondering and a bit bugged by the loose ends I also really like that and I can’t help but feel going back would ruin it or at least make it lose the impact it had on me.
I noticed two things when I went on Amazon to get the synopsis and link
1) another reviewer had described it as unforgettable. It’s not the word I would have thought to use but it’s definitely the right term to describe it!
2) it’s currently a really good low price and very very definitely worth it even if you’re not sure it’s the sort of book for you.
I wasn’t sure if Unwell would be for me when I first saw the blog tour but I thought it sounded intriguing and why not give it a go? It then sat on my TBR for quite some time. If I’d had any indication of just how much I’d enjoy it I wouldn’t have hesitated to ask for it and I’d have started reading as soon as I got it.