Tomato Girl

Tomato Girl - Jayne Pupek I loved the writing in this novel. The voice was authentic and all the characters came to life for me, especially Ellie who I wanted to rescue and her mother who I wanted to bring to the doctor and get her some medication! And I just wanted to shake Rupert by the shoulders and ask him "What are you thinking?". I liked that the author tackled tough subjects that were not to be spoken of during the time setting of the novel, like mental illness (bi-polar), adultery, incest, racism. I applaud her for covering the subject of stillbirth in such a unique and horrifying way. I could relate on a deeply personal level with the mother. Having this happen to you even if you're mentally stable can make you crazy, so I could see how this event was the ultimate catalyst to her final downward spiral.

I liked the metaphors and innuendos used in the novel. Like, when Mr. Morgan didn't want to smoke in Ellie's house, he said, "A woman can always tell when something in her house is amiss." Love that!
Other favorites: "But the words nobody said were like oily fingers staining everything.
"If I could have one wish at that moment it would be to see Tess disappear like a snowflake touching warm ground."
"When you love somebody, the words you need come as sure and easy as rain."

I went back and forth between feeling sorry for Rupert and Tess and despising them. They were dealt some bad luck, but were they really handling it the best they could? I could see how Tess just wanted to get out of her house, but when she packed that dress for Ellie's mother... That was just plain evil!

My only criticisms are that I would have liked to have seen more of Clara. And after a while I began thinking how much more can this poor girl take, but I don't necessarily think that the events were over the top.

I look forward to reading more of Jayne Pupek's novels in the future!