And Then We Ran by Katy Cannon
|And Then We Ran by Katy Cannon|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Dual narrative story about emerging from tragedy, culminating in a coming-of-age road trip. Warm, engaging and generally a lovely read.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: April 2017|
|External links: Author's website|
Megan's passion is photography. She wants to pursue it for a living. But her parents don't see this as a reliable career want her to follow a more academic route. And, since Megan's clever sister Lizzie died, her parents have put more and more pressure on Megan to buckle down to this boring stuff and get herself ready for Oxbridge. It's all too much for Megan, who is still grieving for Lizzie, but doesn't want to take her place as the high achiever her parents crave.
Elliot has given up on studying archaeology at university. Money has been tight since his father was sent to prison for fraud and Elliot doesn't see how his mother will manage without him, let alone afford to send him away to UCL to study under a much-admired professor. Besides, his small seaside town didn't react well to his father's conviction, and Elliot has pretty much withdrawn into himself as a way to cope with the ostracism.
What both kids think they need is to escape. Get away. Make their own decisions. And to that end, they formulate a plan - this plan involves a road trip and an underage wedding in Gretna Green...
Aww. And Then We Ran is a lovely read. Mostly, it is a universal story of young people at the threshold of adulthood and carrying all those terrifying anxieties about whether their interests and passions can translate into a fulfilling, grown-up life. Parental concern feels like coercion. It feels as though barriers are everywhere. Fear and excitement co-exist and jostle one another out of the way to the front of the mind. For both Megan and Elliot, all this is heightened because they are also recovering from recent traumas - the death of Megan's sister, the conviction of Elliot's father. These things generate big feelings at a time of great change. You have to root for the pair of them, really, don't you? I liked impulsive, creative Megan and I also liked reserved, thoughtful Elliot. We need people of all stripes to make up a good world. The story is told from both their perspectives in a dual narrative, so you have equal sympathy for their respective dilemmas.
Cannon's biggest success is to write about all this with great warmth and engagement. She's writing about things that are both terrifying and exhilarating but her book is engaging and comforting and kind. Whether or not Megan and Elliot get married - and you'll have to read the book to find that out! - doesn't really matter. What matters is that they'll come through all the upheavals and they'll be better adults because they did.
It's a sweet, funny, lovely story and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
If you haven't read it yet, you should also look out for Love, Lies and Lemon Pies , also by Cannon. Older readers who like the sound of And Then We Ran might also enjoy The Gravity Between Us by Kristen Zimmer.
You can read more book reviews or buy And Then We Ran by Katy Cannon at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy And Then We Ran by Katy Cannon at Amazon.com.
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