For the Artists Who Like to Remain Strictly Out of the Box
Whatever book you are reading at the moment stop. now. Go out and buy yourself a copy of this book or you will regret it, it is honestly the most beautiful piece of literature I have ever read.
Mum’s List was created by Kate Greene, at the age of just 38 she passed away sadly from breast cancer, fun, life-loving, vibrant Kate was always one step ahead of the world, so when husband Singe (St John) asks her ‘What if you leave me’ Kate begins to tell him things that he must do, to stop him forgetting they decide to write a list ‘just in case’ although it comes across that Kate knew all along that she must put things in order and sort out her beloved childhood sweetheart and strong sons before she had to leave them behind. People mistake this for a list of rules it is not, it is Kates way of trying to ensure her boys, all three of them, live their lives the best way possible (including the selfless act of telling Singe to find another wife) and to the full even if it is without her. Kate is smart,practicle and thinks of every detail after she is gone, any cynics who declare that this was not the real Kate I beg to differ there are people who are happy sunbeams when faced with the worst, I hope that from this I become a little more like her.
The tale of Kate and Singe, is terrifically romantic and that makes it all together even more heart-breaking. At the tender age of just 14 Kate sets her sights on the older Singe at a roller disco and makes up her mind that he is her man and she wont stop until she gets what she wants, even if he is five years older. It is not until she is 16 Since decides that he can date her (partially because of the 5 year age gap), the two of them sound like star crossed lovers after the fights between Kate and her parents and them banning their only daughter from seeing a loonatic with a motorcycle. To a cynic all of this seems terribly over the top, but believe me childhood sweethearts do happen, I am one its a brilliant thing to have and you treasure it every day.
The novel splits between Singe present day trying to get through life and care for their two young sons alone and his memorys of his beautiful energetic life and the thrilling times they have reflecting their motto ‘If your not living life on the edge then your a waste of space”. It is shown again and again throughout the book although Kate’s life was cut short it was no way a waste she lived every single moment to the full skiing,diving,laughing,being a mother, catching butterflys, being encaptured in nature. Although of course the novel is sad and you honestly feel the pain and worry of singe you also feel the warmth spreading through your finger tips when you read a memory or read how well the boys are doing you almost want to jump around that they are capable of moving on.
I couldn’t put this down it really does capture you you have to read it whenever you get the chance it is that addictive. It gives you kates list too and some things are simple jsut to remind the boys ofthings that mummy liked like orange club bars and her sons you ask? These little lads went through so much, although some would criticise that they are spoilt after Kate’s death (one point Singe raises in the book) however for both boys they have survived so much. At just 18 months old after the little happiness they shared (even after Kate struggling to get pregnant at all) Reef becomes dangerously ill, as time quickly passes and with no diagnoses the little boy gets sicker and sicker, Kate discovers she is pregnant much to her surprise after she came off of her fertility drugs. However when Kate is 7 months pregnant they get the news that little Reef has a large tumor in his abdomen, his chances of survival are 8% and he has days or weeks to live, this causes a premature labour for Kate, Finn is born incredibly early. At this point both Singe and Kate fear they are going to loose both of their sons in this nightmare they have walked in to. It is through the novel that we learn after Kate’s death Reef gets the all clear, however he was still left slightly disabled in one leg. During the treatment Kate had wished
I wish we could switch places…If I could be there instead of Reef I would be.
However it is also repeated throughout the novel that
I had so much optimism that Kate would survive… Reef was meant to die and survived and Kate was suppose to survive and died
It is Singes optimism that breaks your heart, aswell as the boys just being generally sweet children, it was only months after Reef wasclear of his treatment Kate found a lump in her Breast and agressive form of cancer that killed her extreamly quickly. Despite the saddness I cried once at the end of Chapter one (and this is me!) and when I watched the ITV interview, proving there is so much happiness in this book.
I learnt one thing from this novel, live your bloody life because no one is going to do it for you! Live it how you want to, I wouldn’t do dangerous things but that’s just me but I have my own list, things I want to do with my life and the story of Kate and how much she loved her sons( Her saying was Acres and Acres being her saying and ‘Kiss the boys twice at night after I’m gone’ being at hte top of her list proves this), her passion and love for her husband, has made me want to go out and live, and also raise money for cancer awareness.
Please watch the interview too it will make it more real http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8lGXXF6neQ
I would give this 6 billion stars if I could
***** Mum’s List – St John Greene
Book review done by Chloe Metzger