Top positive review
An unforgettable tour de force!
Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2021
I do not, for the life of me, understand why this book got so many negative reviews. Perhaps the earlier reviewers read an uncorrected proof, which referred to a "Melissa" in the part about Anna's birthday party, with no follow-up about who Melissa was. Obviously, an editor caught it, because there was no mention of a Melissa in the Kindle copy I read. I finished it in a day, and immediately turned and around and began to reread it. Today I ordered myself a print copy. Even finding words to express why I was so moved is a struggle.
The Thing About Clare resonated in me as no other book has in years. First of all, to set the record straight, it's not a young adult book (I’m 70 years old)! Second, it is not boring! I found the family fascinating and the writing superb. The dialogue is crisp and spot-on, the pacing impeccable, the characters perfectly drawn, and the twist at the end brilliant. Everyone will read this book and claim to have it all figured out. Then, toward the end, wham! No spoilers, and please don't read the last part first. You won't love the characters; you may not even like them. Yes, Clare is a piece of work and certainly the family pariah. But--this book is replete with character development. And such marvelous vignettes, each with a surprise! The part about the Queen's Jubilee in 1977 was stunning. The sibling spats were priceless. The British-isms were witty; some hilarious and some just plain sweet. The story was maddening, poignant, colorful, serious yet funny – and, to me, unforgettable. I shall keep my print copy on my shelf of “most-loved" books, and I certainly plan to revisit it. Now, I’m going back to read some more.