The Facts of Life and Death
The Facts of Life and Death by Belinda Bauer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ruby Trick is 10. She lives in Limeburn, a Devonshire village very close to the sea. There are 4 other children living in the village so Ruby goes on the bus to school. Her mum comes on the bus part of the way because she’s a chef. Ruby’s dad doesn’t have a job at all.

The Facts of Life and Death is a book written from the point of 10 year old Ruby detailing the breakdown in her family relationships and the consequences of that breakdown. It is very much written in the style of the paragraph above, and this really makes the reader see things from Ruby’s perspective which I felt was a very well constructed concept. Because Ruby doesn’t always see things from an adult’s point of view, it is not always clear whether she understands the situation clearly and this really helps to add nuance and atmosphere to the novel.

I did find the characters of both Ruby and her mum particularly well written and I really warmed to them both. Plenty of the other characters were very well constructed and the revelation of the perpetrator was cleverly revealed to the reader at pretty much the same time as to Ruby – again, a clver construct.

The book was easy reading and I was able to get through it quickly – it didn’t really make me think too hard (which is why it only has 4 stars instead of 5) but I did enjoy it and would definitely read another novel involving the characters in the future. All in all, if you enjoy crime novels I am pretty sure you will enjoy it.

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