Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Minty by Christina Banach

21900757
Published in May 2014 by Three Hares Publishing
388 pages in paperback – also available as an e-book
Extract and summary from publisher
“Minty! Stay right there. Wait until I get help!” screams Jess, though I can barely hear her above the crashing waves. “I’m going for Dad!”
Fourteen-year-old twins Minty and Jess are inseparable. Maybe they bicker now and then, even crave a bit of space once in a while. But they have a connection. Unbreakable. Steadfast. Nothing can tear them apart. Until a family trip to the coast puts their bond in jeopardy. As Minty tries to rescue her dog from drowning she ends up fighting for her life. Will Minty survive? If she doesn’t, how will Jess cope without her? Only the stormy sea has the answer.
Minty is a story of love, loss and coming to terms with consequences. It’s a spiritual tale that will linger in your mind long after you’ve read the final word.
*****
If you want a contemporary family drama that deals with loss in a compassionate way, then this may well be the book for you. Whilst ‘Minty’ does cover grief, the story unfolds through action and relationships and humour too.
It’s told from Minty’s 14 year old point of view and involves a small cast of characters. There’s honesty and emotional intensity – and some well-paced action particularly at the beginning. However it’s the debates about important issues such as mourning and selfishness that stay with you. 
I particularly liked the delicate sense of place. It is anchored in Scotland – yet not in such a way to put Sassenachs like me off. Similarly the inclusion of the twins’ Roman interests gives both insight into customs and beliefs - and made the characters more memorable.
Without giving spoilers, the relationship with Jack is nicely handled and gives rise to comic moments at times – and the inclusion of the twin dogs Romulus and Remus is both poignant and engaging. I don’t think I’m giving too much away if I say you might want a box of hankies to hand.
As you might guess from the stylish cover, there is both mystery and hope in this tale. I would recommend it for confident readers who like emotional family dramas – and enjoy thinking about different beliefs.

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