"Live your life as though you were about to be hit by a truck." - (Rita, from TEACHING PIGS TO SING)
TEACHING PIGS TO SING is a strange, quirky and mesmerizing book. It is the story of thirty-something Rita (a single mom trying to overcome relationship problems) and her six-year-old son, Max.
It's a book about loneliness and uncertainty, peppered with stream-of-consciouness internal dialogue (on Rita's part). Rita struggles to understand and cope with an eclectic group of people in her life - many of them broken in some way by life's injustices. She is also battling her own health issues, all while doing her best to protect her young son for the harsh realities of the world.
The book is dark, no question about it, but it is also believable and heart-wrenching. The irony lies when Max becomes the victim of a violent act, despite Rita's obsession with protecting him. I have to admit that it was hard to continue on with the story after this point, but I was too invested - I had to read through. I'm glad I did. The characters are raw and authentic and I loved the courage and strength of Rita. Strube has also captured the young voice of a child perfectly - Max was my favourite character.
Highly recommend this book, and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.