The 10pm Question – Kate De Goldi

“It was really was a continual disappointment, thought Frankie, how all little pieces of story magic were eventually crushed by reality.”

and because I need a happy one too…

“Come on, throw it, throw it. I may as well get a shine on the end of my knob.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Bonga Swetso ♥

High Points.
Frankie. Gigs. Sydney. The entire Parsons clan. New Zealand. Cakes. Knobshine. Projects. Mr A. Secret Passwords. Heart-shattering. Shredders. Card games. Lists. Quirks. Eccentricities. Siblings. Chilun. Ray Davies. The Fat Controller. Camp. Late night talks. Aurora Awakens. Hope. Love. Song wars. Favourite default memories. “Normality”. Computer technology. Partially Bling Man. Word definitions. Oh good, GOD. Rara avis.

Low Point.
The only quibble I had with this book was the way the chapters were divided into every other (maybe?) Tuesday. I felt, in doing this, De Goldi denied us from seeing a lot of scenes that I would have loved to read first hand and not just from the memory of Frankie.

Oh Frankie, you adorable little precious poppet.
I can’t decide whether I want to adopt you or run around antagonising dogs with you.
There’s a fine line between them, I feel.
When I was reading this book, there were an alarming number of moments when I was like “I understand COMPLETELY”. But, I think there are worse people I could relate to. Definitely.
I don’t want to go into the many many reasons why I loved Frankie, but I think he’s best to get to know on your own. But here’s a few because I can’t resist.
He’s strong, he’s resilient, he’s inquisitive, he’s observant, he’s capable of shattering my cold Northern heart, he’s hilarious, he’s intelligent, he’s imaginative, he’s the perfect hero for this book and he doesn’t like unsavoury collisions with a plaster in a public pool.
That, I have to agree, does suck and it knocks me sick too.
I just want to cuddle you, listen to you talk about birds and write stories with you while I eat all we share Mistake Cake… which sounds DELICIOUS by the way.

Best Friend.
Oh Gigs. You are definitely in the running for the ‘Lee Carter Award for Adorable, Cheeky Ragamuffin BFF Who Will End Up Getting Us Arrested When We’re Older’.
And Sydney. Well, I didn’t appreciate you BREAKING MY HEART.
Let’s tuck our skirts in our knickers and do cartwheels and go and buy nose rings together and make boys feel uncomfortable with how amazing and fearless we are.
And then we can cuddle, yes? *sob*

Furry Friends.
A cat called The Fat Controller and a beagle called Ray Davies. Best.names.ever.

Oh my lorrrd, I want to move in with the Parsons. I loved the way Ms De Goldi depicted the family dynamic. It was the perfect combination of side-splitting humour (honourable mention goes to the song wars between Uncle G and Louie… hilarious) and heart-shattering moments (honourable mention goes to the 10pm questions and a visit to the Aunties… blub.)

Theme Tune.

“A boy like me should know much better than to raise his flag in stormy weather.
But I just can’t get enough eletric shocks.
I wanna buy a lighthouse and ride a giraffe on the rocks.
I don’t give up.”

Like I could pick anyone else as my theme tune for this book . Always humorous, always beautiful, always haunting and forever an eccentric. Someone knight him already.
What can I say? The peculiar ones are always my favourites.

Sadness Scale.
10/10. BUT WAIT… don’t run fleeing in terror because of the sadness that you will feel. (And you will feel it). But this book is also full of beautiful, whimsical moments and, above all, hope and love and understanding.
This book struck a real chord with me and there were certain fears and worries that Frankie felt that really resonated with me.
And I know I always say it… and I know I’m going to start sounding like a broken record, but I have to really commend Ms de Goldi’s sensitive yet extremely accurate portrayal of mental illness. I loved how De Goldi managed to switch between depicting the uncomfortable but inevitable issues that living with someone with a mental illness brings and the glorious, heart-warming humour of Frankie’s story with perfect ease. There seemed to be a magnificent flow to this book and there was never a moment where I thought that the transition was forced or only put in the story for shock-factor. Her writing gave the entire book a perfect bitter-sweet tinge which I am sure will stick with me for a long time.

Recommended For.
EVERYONE. People who like their books with imagination and whimsy. People who want a book that will depict important issues without shying away when it gets too uncomfortable. People who have big families. People who worry about things and think it’s stupid… ps. IT’S NOT. People who understand the importance of keeping sweeties in a safe, dry place in case there is an apocalypse. People who like projects. People who like passwords. People who keep their bus tickets. People who like to make up their own languages. People who like doing cartwheels and don’t care if the boys can see your kecks. People who like Russian literature. People who think the cakes that don’t turn out right are always the best. People who like waking up to the splattered remains of a dead rat on their bath mat. People who talk to inanimate objects, which is OK, as long as they don’t talk back. People who always remember what trumps is. People who understand there can’t always be a happy ending, but continue to hope for one regardless.

7 thoughts on “The 10pm Question – Kate De Goldi

  1. Wonderful, wonderful book. I knew you'd love it to :) Great review – mine is half written lol but not posted yet. (I also included that quote!) It made me burst out laughing for ages :D

    I love Frankie. I want to adopt him and give him a big cuddle. And the Aunts! The Aunts! *love*

  2. @Amy- Oh yes, I loved it so much. That quote had me in stitches. I'm so glad I read it… It was such an emotional rollercoaster but it was so so perfect.

    @LB YES, Patrick Wolf is pretty much my idol. He's so amazing. I immediately thought of him when I was reading this.

    Thanks guys :)

  3. I was grinning throughout this entire review. That book makes me so happy and to see others love it makes me happy, too.

    It’s just so vibrant – and you’re right, the characters, the dynamics of friendship and family were really what made it the best. The Parsons family – despite their sadness – are amazing. The more I read, the more I want more of them. Lately, I’ve been thinking that maybe she should write more of Frankie’s story. Maybe when he’s a little older, or even just some other character from his world. Because I cannot get enough of this world that deGoldi’s created. HAPPY SIGH.

    • I never really crave sequels to books because I tend to find that authors wrap up their stories extremely well and not that De Goldi didn’t… but I would love to read more of Frankie’s story. I miss him a lot!

      This is such a glorious book and I want everyone to read it. I’m so glad I’ve met another fan! :)

  4. Pingback: Review: Nest by Esther Ehrlich | weartheoldcoat

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