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P is for Pearl

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  193 ratings  ·  52 reviews
From the talented author of the celebrated novels In the Quiet and Ache comes a poignant and moving book that explores the stories we tell ourselves about our families, and what it means to belong.

Seventeen-year-old Gwendolyn P. Pearson has become very good at not thinking about the awful things that have happened to her family. She has also become used to people talking
ebook, 304 pages
Published February 19th 2018 by HarperCollins (first published February 18th 2018)
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  193 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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“My mum would dress herself up in scarves and nothing else and dance around the backyard.
Sometimes she’d light a fire. Or climb a tree. She’d whistle and sing and yell at me to join her until everything inside me hurt with the effort of refusing her.

She was a whirlwind. A rushing, spinning impossibility.

She called me by my middle name and always told me that I was destined for great things, and even back then I knew that I’d disappoint her. I knew that I w
Seventeen year old Gwendolyn P. Pearson lives in a small coastal town in Tasmania with her dad, stepmother, stepbrother and half sister. Gwen was quite young when her mum and brother passed away and many people in the community knew of her mum. Some people would talk about her mum quite openly, others struggled not knowing what to say at all.

Gwen is in year 11 in high school and still unsure of what she wants to do with her life. She and her friend have a part time job at the local cafe. It is h
If there is one thing I have learned from reading the authors first two books is that nobody writes about domestic grief better. Combining that in a YA structure was always going to be challenging risk but it is one that has been spectacularly pulled off here.

Set in a small rural seaside town, Gwendolyn P. Pearson is on the brink of moving from being a child to an adult. Her life is dominated by the memories of her now deceased mother and brother and trying to fit in with her father and a differ
I loved Eliza Henry – Jones’ previous adult novels so I was keen to read her latest offering as well.

The main character of this novel is Gwendolyn P. Pearson, who’s seventeen and is trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. An incident at the café she was working part-time triggers memories and feelings that make her feel sleepless and unsettled. She’s trying to piece together things from the past, as she was little when her mum and little brother passed away. She’s got her best f
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
Check out Happy Indulgence Books for more reviews!

An aching exploration of grief about Gwen, who her mother affectionately referred to as Pearl, slowly delving into her memories of her mother and brother who have passed away. When she gets inevitably pulled into an incident with a mentally ill man at a cafe, and she's caught between teenagers and adulthood, she starts wondering what the impact of her mother would have on her now.

The novel explores the possibilities of what happens after high s

I wasn't sure sure I was going to get into this one when I started reading, especially due to my difficulty settling on and enjoying books this month, but before I knew it I was almost half-way through and rushing back to it whenever I had a moment. (I'm listening to a lot of audiobooks because of the long drives for work, but sitting down and focusing is proving hard at the moment.)

It deals with grief, loss, mental health issues, blended families (including both step- and half-siblings), fr
Theresa Smith Writes
I was so excited about the release of P is for Pearl because it’s been less than a year since Ache came out and I am a massive fan of Eliza Henry Jones. Her novels are always what I like to term, ‘quietly beautiful’, and in the case of her latest, P is for Pearl, this novel can quite simply be summed up as: P is for Perfect. Because it is. It really is the perfect novel.

Gwen is seventeen, in Year 11 at high school, living in a small coastal town in Tasmania with her father, step-mother, step-bro
Jennifer (JC-S)
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘I worked at the café down on the main surfing beach in town.’

Meet Gwendolyn P. Pearson. Gwen lives in a small coastal town in Tasmania with her father, step-mother (Biddy), step-brother (Tyrone) and half-sister (Evie). She remembers her mum: a colourful whirlwind of a woman, now dead. Everyone in the small community knew Gwen’s mum: some talk about her, others look at Gwen sympathetically and say nothing. Gwen tries not to think about losing her mother, or the death of her younger brother. Kee
- ̗̀ fantine ̖́-
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, aussie, arc
Gwendolyn Pearl Pearson is on the brink of adulthood. She has friends she loves and a dysfunctional family she knows love her. Life is on the right track. Maybe most importantly she has learnt how to cope with the grief of losing her mother, and is no longer the broken little girl she once was. Until an unexpectedly traumatic event at work triggers an onslaught of memories and awakens something within her.

Suddenly Gwen can’t eat or sleep and is consumed by questions surrounding the strange circ
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars, ya
Nobody writes about grief and trauma like Eliza Henry-Jones. With qualifications English, Psychology and grief, loss and trauma counselling Henry-Jones knows her stuff, but I think her writing skills transcend the basic knowledge she has gained. Every novel by this author seems to get right to the heart and soul of her characters and I am always able to relate to her characters almost as though she is writing about my own personal experiences. 

P is for Pearl only really fits into the YA genre be
Nadia King
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
P is for Pearl is the tender-hearted story of seventeen-year-old Gwen growing up in regional Tasmania. An incident at the local coffee chop where Gwen works with her best friend, Loretta sends Gwen spinning into the realms of grief. The story follows the aftermath of the incident and Gwen’s acceptance of the death of her mother and brother some years past.

Life becomes more complicated when two strangers come to town. Handsome Ben and his troubled sister, Amber descend upon the town causing a flu
Dasha M
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A touching and poignant portrayal of grief and trauma. A YA book I actually liked!
Absolutely beautiful, poignant novel. It reminded me so much of Sophie Hardcastle’s Breathing Under Water. They both have a great understanding of what’s it like to be a teenager going through loss and uncertainties. It was written in a way that’s believable and truthful.

P is for Pearl tells the story of 17-year-old Gwen who lost her mum and brother at an early age. An incident at the café where she worked part time prompted vivid memories, flashback and dreams of the time they died - she griev
Nobody writes about grief the way Eliza Henry Jones does - she captures so perfectly the raw, often devastating, emotion. But she also makes it beautiful - there is always hope in her writing.

Already a contender for my favourite book of the year (it’s January, but it’s just that good!). YA like this makes Eliza Henry Jones the natural heir to Melina Marchetta (though hopefully she’s not done yet!). Like Marchetta, it’s unabashedly Australian, and wonderfully captures the confusion and frustrati
Kerran Olson
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, dymocks-ya-club
I really enjoyed this book. It explores grief and mental illness and family relationships really well, especially for a YA book, and I'm definitely keen to read the author's adult books now because I liked her writing style. There were some predictable moments, and at times the book seemed quite young, especially considering the heavy subject matter, but I liked the characters and their interactions with one another, and all the themes explored.
Allyce Cameron
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it
There’s a lot to like about this book, I think the characters and their relationships were amazing. I especially loved little Evie and Loretta, they were just brilliant. That being said it just wasn’t a standout for me. I can’t quite put my finger on it, I enjoyed reading it but it’s not one I’ll go back and reread. I think maybe it felt a little young for me I’m not sure. I definitely want to go and try the authors adult titles as I’ve heard they’re amazing.
SJ Reads
- The location of the novel, how it felt like a real small town
- The family dynamics
- The acceptance of the MC issues with her past

- how nothing really happened
- How it was over so fast
- How little focus there was on Amber and Pearl
Khrys 《TheWaffleGirl》
Being an avid Fantasy reader, this is not my usual book.

This is the real world, one without magic or miracles, a place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. Where people die and music disintegrates and things. Just. Go. Wrong.
This is where you face real-life people with their real-life problems and it kind of stuns you a bit because most books help you escape reality and this is not that kind of book.

This is the kind of book that would mak
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Harper Collins for sending me an ARC of this beautiful book for review!
This contemporary YA book, set in Tasmania, is about grief and relationships and truth and figuring out who/what we want to be. It was BEAUTIFULLY written - it kind of felt like literary fiction - and had kind of a magical feeling (for me the vibe felt a bit like Maggie Stiefvater's Scorpio Races). Have your tissues at hand, because this gets real in a couple of places. Meanwhile, I'm off to read Eliza Henry James'
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Read this for bookclub.
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and sad and utterly wonderful.
I found this well written novel affecting and insightful.
This was pure poetry, it was such a beautiful and moving story for me to read, it spoke straight to my heart. A beautifully written story of loss and secrets and coming to terms with the truth of what life is. Set in Tasmania in a small seaside town, 17 year old Gwen is dealing with loss, not just the loss of her mum and brother, but the loss of all she believes to be the truth. I can't express how moved I was by this story, it is one I can see myself rereading just to immerse myself in Eliza He ...more
Amy (Lost in a Good Book)
I loved the comfortable feeling of this book. I connected with the feeling of the small town and the familiarity with all the residents there. It was a different kind of story that had a lot of focus on the characters and who they were rather than any big events. I liked that what looked like key plot points came to nothing and you realise Jones has a different direction in mind for the story.

What I also liked were the slow reveals and the shifting focus, it is also a great exploration of mental
Melissa Sargent
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: over 14's

A random but violent accident at the café where Gwendolyn Pearson works after school triggers a cascade of memory and emotion from past trauma. Gwendolyn takes to the beaches of her small town and uses her running as a kind of meditation and therapy. We come to know her blended family as she navigates their quirks and as she tries to figure out where she fits in the world.

When two new kids come to town under mysterious circumstances, Gwendolyn strikes up a friendship that will help her discover
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There's definitely budding romance, friendship, and conflicts with schoolmates as you would expect when reading about a teenager during her everyday life. However, the focus is not there. It's more about the emotional suffering and grief of a young lady who had lost her baby brother, then later her mother. The combination of YA and grief is unconventional and timely, I think. We don’t often put those two in the same room together when the reality is many young adults have experienced it.

Our main
Heather Gallagher
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
At last, a YA novel that deals with grief and manages to have a sense of humour! I really enjoyed Gwen's story - although parents in YA novels do seem to have a lot to answer for. Gwen basically hasn't emotionally recovered from the deaths of her mother and little brother. At the beginning of the novel a mentally-ill man smashes the cafe window where Gwen works, triggering flash-backs to her turbulent childhood and fraught relationship with her mother. While the novel dealt with some really heav ...more
Irene (thefictionthief)
*I received this ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Australia, the past few years, has had a wonderful run of beautifully written and emotional YA stories, and this is no exception. I loved this and I bloody cried a fair bit because this is so raw and sad and filled with grief, but it is also funny and so distinctly Australian that when I read it I feel it in my bones and I love the way you can just sense when you're reading something by an Australian YA author because it's just
Sandra Shannon
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this young adult novel. No swearing, no drugs, no sex - a pleasant change.
Set on a rugged coast somewhere in Tasmania. A small coastal town. I loved the friendship between Gwen and Loretta both 17, known each other for ever. Gwen lives in a blended family with her dad and step-mum, her step-brother Tyrone and half-sister Evie. Gwen is finally making inroads into her sadness about the loss of her younger brother and mother.
An incident at the cafe where she works, starts Gwen questioning a
Alana  Eising
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book while deep in the Tasmanian wilderness, which couldn't have been a more perfect setting. I was immediately absorbed into Gwen's world of grief and love and finding that teenage sense of self. Eliza Henry-Jones proves once again that she has a thorough understanding of cycles and systems of trauma, and brings it all together into a beautifully-crafted story I didn't want to put down.
The only detractors were the ages of the main characters (they read younger than 17 to me) and th
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