Can a free-spirited, punk, goth girl really be friends - best friends - with a middle-aged mother of two going through a painful divorce?
Yes, she can, if Laurie Maitland's Hailstones in May is anything to go by. And why not? Although at first the two women seem an odd combination, and the reader may well ask what they could possibly have in common, as the novel unfolds it all becomes clear. Despite outward appearances, we are taught that shared experiences, lost love, the ability to laugh, all these things are more important than piercings or the lack of them! It's a good lesson. It's about not judging. It's about understanding.
But Hailstones in May is about more than that.
This is not my usual sort of book. I'm more often found reading a horror or a murder mystery. I downloaded Hailstones in May on the recommendation of a friend, and I'm so glad I did.
I felt drawn to the characters and the situation. It was all very real, it could have been happening at that very moment just next door or down the road. There were no overly clever tricks, no twists or turns that make the reader question the story, that bring you out of the novel's world with a jolt; it was simply the tale of a woman and her life after a messy break up with the man she had spent half of that life with. The fall out, the decisions she has to make, the changes she goes through. The friends she makes, and the friends she loses.
Heart breaking and heart warming by turns, I found that I was always eager to get back to the story, making time during the day to have a five minute read if I could. I don't often do that. I don't often find a book that keeps me interested enough to be desperate to find out what happens next.
The Kindle book can be purchased through Amazon here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hailstones-in-May-ebook/dp/B006SLZF7S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345096654&sr=8-1 and is currently just £1.26 - worth every penny (worth more, in my opinion - this is incredibly cheap for such entertainment).
My only criticism is that it is not available in print, so I can't buy my mother a copy. I know she would love it too. In fact, I know many people - family and friends - who would enjoy the book but who don't have eReaders, and who wouldn't read from their computer screen. It seems a shame not to allow a large section of people the joy of this book. I'm sure that if Laurie Maitland sold the book in print she would be a household name by now... Just a thought.