An Open Letter To Christina Banach, Author of 'Minty.'

Posted on 10th September, 2016

Dear Christina


I finished reading Minty a while ago, sitting on the rocks beside the sea. It seemed the right place to read the ending. I cried - of course. I expect you get told that all the time. Fortunately, my glasses have those lenses that go dark in the sunshine and as it was a bright late afternoon/early evening, my lenses darkened and no one saw me cry, although the sniffing might have been a bit of a giveaway.


I'm not given to reading Young Adult novels, but I'm so glad I read yours. I would have found Minty an engrossing read in any circumstances, but for me it was extra special because my family lost a child some 20 years ago. I wish my late niece's sister could have had Minty to read back then - not right away, but maybe a year or so later. It could have put her loss into a certain context. There's nothing quite like reading a book and knowing that the author understands.


I'm a great believer in reading for solace. My mother always swore that it was reading all night every night that stopped her going mad when she was widowed. But reading for solace doesn't just mean reading to escape temporarily from a difficult time in your life.


It can also mean the solace that is provided when a story addresses a real situation that you have had to deal with. For a young reader, this can be their first glimpse of knowing that they aren't alone in having experienced something.


In Minty, you have taken possibly the most difficult subject of all - death and bereavement -  and tackled it head-on with confidence, honesty, compassion and even with humour. Young adult readers won't get the 1970s references but, as an adult of a certain age, I loved them.


I used to be a librarian specialising in work with children and schools. Reading Minty made me wish I still was, so I could take it into secondary schools and give it the promotion it deserves. I'd even provide the boxes of tissues needed for reading the ending.


For me, Minty reopened an old wound, but it also poured in a little solace, and I cannot offer you any greater praise than that.


With love and thanks,

Sue xx



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Comments (7)

Jen, I am thrilled to think you are going to recommend Minty to your daughter's school librarian. It is an excellent book that will enrich the lives of young adult readers.
Thank you for your kind words, Bobbi and Jen. Thanks for recommending Minty to the librarian too, Jen, it’s so good of you. Susanna, thanks again for honouring my book with your beautiful post. C xxx
A very powerful post, Susanna. Thanks for reviewing and sharing your own family history too.

I'm recommending Christina's book to the librarian at my daughter's school.

Hugs xxx
Thanks for your kind words, Bobbi. I'm delighted that you agree with me. Minty is indeed a very powerful book.
What a lovely review, and I agree with every word. Minty is a powerful read!
Thank you for your kind words, Christina. Minty is a very special book and it deserves a wide readership. I look forward to reading your next novel.
Dear Susanna

I feel honoured and very humbled that my book has moved you in this way. When I wrote Minty, I often thought that even if only one person took comfort from this novel then all the effort would have been worthwhile.

Your insightful comments on the book itself mean such a lot to me. I also admire your courage, in being so open about your family's own tragic history.

Thank you for taking the time to write this post. It is very special.

Christina xx