The Night Rainbow was August’s book club read and one that was anything but the gentle read we had first anticipated. Clare King’s story of a young girl trying to survive without her Mother’s supervision was something we all enjoyed but perhaps wouldn’t be one that we would rave about.
Certainly this book conjured up a lot of discussion, the first being Pea’s age. Most felt her character was a lot older, but did this come from being a ‘child carer ‘? Certainly her observations on life and her justifications of why events occurred were the highlight of the book.
Then there was the Mother. Pregnant and recently bereaved, our feelings ranged from feeling empathy to feeling annoyed that a child was left to fend for herself. There was also the notion that surrounding family should help and certainly you would have thought that there would have been a moral obligation to assist from those around.
The relationship between Claude and Pea was one that at first was quite uncomfortable. Isn’t it terrible that you automatically judge something that turned out to be quite innocent? By Claude looking after Pea, he indirectly was also helping her Mother and indulged Pea with her imaginary games.
Margot was a character that had most of us perplexed. Nearly all of us thought that she was real but looking back there are a few clues dotted throughout the storyline. The fact that Margot disappeared after the baby was born and her Mother was starting to come back to normal, shows that Pea didn’t require this imaginary sister to detract from what was happening at home any more.
Was the author sympathetic towards Pea or her Mother? Certainly we felt that the author had perhaps experienced something similar.
Finally ‘the night rainbow’ does exist and is a rare meter-logical event. To what it laid claim to the book we can only guess that it represents a new beginning and thankfully Pea did have chance to have a new beginning.