Published: 16th June 2016
Pages: 369 Pages
Clover Quinn was a surprise. She used to imagine she was the good kind, now she’s not sure. She’d like to ask Dad about it, but growing up in the saddest chapter of someone else’s story is difficult. She tries not to skate on the thin ice of his memories.
Darren has done his best. He’s studied his daughter like a seismologist on the lookout for waves and surrounded her with everything she might want – everything he can think of, at least – to be happy.
What Clover wants is answers. This summer, she thinks she can find them in the second bedroom, which is full of her mother’s belongings. Volume isn’t important, what she is looking for is essence; the undiluted bits: a collection of things that will tell the full story of her mother, her father and who she is going to be.
But what you find depends on what you’re searching for…
As you may have already read in the blurb, The Museum of You is a story about Darren Quinn and his daughter Clover. Clover wants to showcase her mother’s memories and Darren wants to keep things under wraps – two very conflicting perspectives!
Clover’s mother Becky dies unexpectedly and in memory of her life Clover wants to create a ‘museum’ to display her things. She uses the summer holidays to sort the mammoth possessions housed in their small home, and haphazardly paints a tiny picture of what Becky’s life looked like.
Clover’s idea was something that I found endearing, what a perfect way to celebrate someone’s life and to display the things that belonged to her and her personality. I sometimes wondered if it was more for Darren’s benefit than for Clover’s, because I think she felt Darren needed to celebrate Becky, rather than to not talk about her at all. Darren on the other hand probably didn’t want to talk about it because of the circumstances surrounding Becky’s death – no spoilers, you’ll find out in the book 😉
The inclusion of Darren’s support network was a nice touch. Their character profiles were explained briefly, giving you a little insight into who they were and why they supported Darren. The list included:
- Mrs Mackerel – a shouty neighbour that liked to talk in capitals
- Uncle Jim – a sufferer of mental health illness, but a great rock for Clover
- Darren’s dad – given his age, he just spent most of his time watching videos on YouTube – I liked him the most
- Colin – Darren’s gay best friend and removal man
- Kelly – another of Darren’s friend, whom I think Darren had a little fling with!
I sometimes hate it when characters are introduced into the story and then nothing is done with them – you may as well not have included them!
Darren is a hoarder and the family home is full to the brim of odd things and probably not useful to anyone. I personally believe Darren’s hoarding nature stems from the death of Becky and the fact he’s in control and if he wants to give something away he will. Becky just slipped through his fingers and he can’t ever deal with that.
I loved how Clover was happy, yet incredibly curious. At the age of 12, she’s changing from a girl into a woman and this again is briefly highlighted. Darren worries he isn’t doing a good enough job bringing her up, especially because he has no experience in teenage girls, but from what I read he does fine – he’s a great dad. I also loved how she didn’t care what other people thought about her and in result became friends with Dragmar – who at school was classed as being ‘weird’. Dragmar and Clover form an unlikely friendship and I’m glad they had each other to have fun with.