This post is sponsored by Bloomsbury.
Sarah Crossan’s ‘Toffee‘ is equal parts heartbreaking as it is gorgeous and beautiful. Before you get stuck into it, read a personal letter from Sarah below.
Toffee is a very personal novel, and I really hope that readers recognise something of themselves too, particularly how we all deal with our pasts: what we forgive; what we forget; and what we keep close and hold on to. At one point the main character, Allison (or Toffee), wishes she could forget, because how easy would that be, to start afresh with no painful memories? Of course, most of us cannot do this, and instead are forced to find a way to heal by learning to be compassionate, primarily with ourselves.
Allison is the teenage protagonist in this book and she is joined by Marla, an elderly woman with dementia, who at times remembers and at times does not. Allison is young. Marla is old. No one therefore really listens to them or recognises their hurts as valid. And this is a problem within our culture, the silencing of certain groups, as though only a select number of people of a particular age have a right to be treated with fairness and dignity.
I promised myself I wouldn’t write another novel that had readers sobbing into tissues and messaging me with comments like, ‘You’ve KILLED me!!!’ Instead, in writing Toffee, I have done most of the crying for you. (You’re welcome!) The poem ‘Forever’ on page 380 is the one which stings the most every time I read it – it is the core message of the novel and my reason for writing:
No goodbye is forever
unless you can
erase everything you ever
knew about a person and
everything you once felt.
Having said that, the poems in which Marla dances to ‘Gangnam Style’ and ‘Single Ladies’ are pretty important too because this book is also intended to make you smile, just as life does, even when the road is dark.
Thank you so much in anticipation for your support.
With love, Sarah x
‘Toffee’ is available to buy in the UK now.
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