Wednesday, 18 January 2017
I hadn't heard of Mum's List by St John Greene until I saw something about the film adaptation on TV. I thought it sounded interesting, though very sad, and I decided to read the book.
Mum's List is a true story about Kate Greene, a woman dying of cancer, who decided to write a kind of wish list for her husband, Singe, and two young sons. The list was actually things which Kate wanted the family to do, some things she'd intended doing with them herself, mixed in with things she didn't want them to forget and life lessons.
Having my own life threatened by cancer when my own children were very young, I find myself drawn to these type of books, however, this one didn't turn out to be the weepy I expected it to be. Yes, it's a true story and it's extremely sad, I feel terrible when anyone loses their life to this horrible disease, especially when they're leaving young children behind, and Kate's illness wasn't the first time the family had been touched by cancer, one of the children had gone through it too, but there were things which just didn't sit well with me at all and I must admit that I nearly abandoned the book on more than one occasion.
I know that people deal with grief in different ways but I found Singe to be quite disrespectful after Kate's death. He removed his wedding ring within days of Kate dying as he now thought of himself as a single man and he seemed eager to find a new partner. Even when one of the boys asked him when they were going to get a new mummy he didn't put him right and tell him that Kate was their mummy and always would be. Singe may be a lovely chap, he obviously idolised his wife, however, the way the book is written doesn't show him in a very good light, in my opinion.
I thought the book was going to go in to more detail about the list itself, which seemed to get lost amongst the gloating about the new house extension, new boat, holidays and even appearing in a Steven Spielberg film. I feel terribly sad at Kate's death but it certainly hasn't held Singe back.
I thought the best part of the book was the inclusion of Kate's mum's diary. This one chapter told me more about Kate's illness and what was happening at the time than all the other chapters put together.
Has anyone else read this book or have you seen the film, I wonder if that's any better. I'm afraid it's a film I won't be rushing to see if the book's anything to go by.
I've decided that the Christmas books that I didn't get round to reading last month will be put away now until next Christmas. There's quite a few so I'll be all set in December without having to buy any more.
If you want to know what else I've been reading lately, you can find a list in the sidebar. This shows all the books I've read this year and there's also lists of the books I've read right back to 2012.