Life On The Refrigerator Door – Alice Kuipers

Posted on November 23, 2008


I read this book after it was recommended to me by my school librarian.

It tells the story of Claire and her mother who have very few opportunities to see each other due to her mum’s busy job. To compensate, they leave notes for each other, as the title suggests, on the refrigerator door. To begin with, the notes are normal mother-daughter conversation about shopping, allowance and boys, but one note the mother leaves turns the story totally on its head. She has found a lump on her breast. At first, both of them show a naivety to the situation, but it slowly dawns on both of them that this problem is very serious indeed and the mother’s health deteriorates, culminating in her death. After the mother dies, Claire leaves two more heartfelt notes that involve massive outpourings of emotion. She leaves them on the refrigerator door of the empty house, knowing that her mother will never read them.

The note format of the story means that you can read all of it in an hour, but the length does not decrease the amount of emotion the plot conjures up. This writer has an amazing way of portraying so much emotion in notes that, on average, only cover half a page. You would have to have a heart of stone not to be touched by the story and I actually found myself close to tears reading Claire’s final notes. An amazing short read!

Life On The Refrigerator Door – Alice Kuipers *****

By Tom.