Another lovely advance review on Goodreads for All Our Squandered Beauty!
By Allison Symes:
Our Squandered Beauty is a deeply moving story about a girl, Kara,
trying to come to terms with the loss of her beloved Da. Kara manages to
break a heart in the process, angers her dearest friend, upsets her
mother who is trying to make a new life herself, and has her own heart
broken, before coming to a conclusion that is right for her.
You just know at this point Kara’s life will take a new turn. Grief, while not gone (how can it ever be?), will not hold her back the way it has done until this point. There is also a determination by Kara to put things right as much as she can so the story ends on a hopeful note.
A book dealing with grief (especially long term grief where closure is not easy to come to) is never easy to write but AOSB is written with a delicate touch. You are taken straight into Kara’s head, understand how she is feeling and why.
I did find myself becoming exasperated with her at times (a kind of why did you do that, silly girl type response) but it is always great when a character makes you react like that. It means they’re unforgettable and that is a wonderful thing to achieve.
The sensory descriptions in this book are beautifully done. Squabble of seagulls is just one example of that and it is so appropriate. For me, this conjured up sound and imagery in three simple words. Excellently done and just one example of wonderful writing.
A hugely enjoyable read, though I would like to take Kara one side and have a good mother to daughter chat with her, not that she would welcome it!