I was excited to find this book at a used book sale a few weeks ago. It became the first book that I dipped into from my Big Fat Book Haul.
I came across Catherine Bateson last year when I read the wonderful Rain May and Captain Daniel. She has won the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for Younger Readers twice since 2003, and had a showing with an Honour Book or Notable Book in most other years! That's a rather extroadinary achievement. And makes me even more curious about Catherine and want to read her books.
Painted Love Letters is one of her early books from 2002. Chrissie is a teenager, trying to fit in at high school even though her artist parents keep moving, and she needs to change schools. It's Queensland in the 70s we suspect- at least I hope so, given her fashion choices.
Chrissie's dad Dave is dying. He gets diagnosed with lung cancer early in the book. And the inevitable happens over much of the rest of this little morsel of a read. At only 93 pages it's a compelling, quick read.
Each day my body gives up a little more, so it becomes a little closer and I can feel another little piece of this life slipping off me, slipping away. My body is teaching me how to leave.There are interesting references to Father Damien and his leper colony in Kalaupapa. It didn't sound a particularly Australian name, and I wondered where it was. Turns out it's not Australian at all, but Hawaiian.