The Year of The Rat

The Year of The Rat

Grappling with grief is hard enough without repeat visits from the deceased. Pearl deals with death, life, and family in this haunting, humorous, and poignant debut.

The world can tip at any moment…a fact that fifteen-year-old Pearl is all too aware of when her mom dies after giving birth to her baby sister, Rose.

Rose, who looks exactly like a baby rat, all pink, wrinkled, and writhing. This little Rat has destroyed everything, even ruined the wonderful relationship that Pearl had with her stepfather, the Rat’s biological father.

Mom, though…Mom’s dead but she can’t seem to leave. She keeps visiting Pearl. Smoking, cursing, guiding.

Told across the year following her mother’s death, Pearl’s story is full of bittersweet humor and heartbreaking honesty about how you deal with grief that cuts you to the bone, as she tries not only to come to terms with losing her mother, but also the fact that her sister—The Rat—is a constant reminder of why her mom is no longer around.

The reviews

The Sunday Times said...

‘A feel-good novel that does not flinch from the rawness of grief’

The Guardian said...

‘A strong new voice’

Daily Mail said...

‘Impressive and moving’

Kath, Sensitivity and Flair said...

“I knew that I would like The Year of the Rat when I cried a few pages in. Nothing particularly sad or bad had happened (apart from the death of Pearl’s mother, but that was a predetermined event just before the book takes place) but all the emotional that the characters were feeling came over me like a wave. Everything Pearl and her family goes through and feels is raw and real and carries you through the story.

So much admiration has to go to Clare for writing so well, and this is honestly fantastic for a debut novel. I have a feeling big things are coming for her. I have so little to fault this book on, and as soon as it’s out I’m going to be recommending it to everyone I know, teenagers and adults alike.

Without any doubt it’s 5/5 stars from me.”

Lily Golding, The Whispering of the Pages said...

“I think the thing that struck me most about this book was how realistic the emotion was… it is a very honest picture of what many struggling teenagers have to face. You will definitely need tissues when reading this book, but it’s worth the tears.”

More reviews >>

Book information

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date: April 11, 2014
ISBN: 9781481420990

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