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Life on the Refrigerator Door: Notes Between a Mother and Daughter, a novel    by Alice Kuipers order for
Life on the Refrigerator Door
by Alice Kuipers
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, Audio, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Lori Waddington

Fifteen-year-old Claire and her mother have a typical relationship; Claire's mother works full-time, and when she is home, Claire is at a friend's house or out with her boyfriend. As a result, mother and daughter communicate by leaving each other notes on the refrigerator door. The notes range from the mundane 'I made spaghetti bolognaise for us' to the more important 'Don't worry, I have my key.'

When Claire's mother discovers a lump in her breast, the notes take on a different tone. When her mother writes the note, 'Claire ... I have breast cancer', Claire tries to stay positive, telling her 'We can't give up hope, Mom. Lots of people recover from this', while still dealing with her own teenage issues - 'Mom, Michael said he didn't want to hang out so much', and 'I can't believe you turned my shirt PINK! I CAN'T WEAR IT NOW.' However, both mother and daughter must eventually face the fact that the cancer is 'not getting any better,' and learn to cherish the time they have left.

Life On The Refrigerator Door is not your typical novel. First-time author Alice Kuipers has basically put together a book of notes, ranging from sentences to several paragraphs, and it works like a charm. She does a very nice job of conveying the relationship between Claire and her mother, as they deal with issues ranging from teenage angst to life and death.

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