It is the 1970s, Stella’s life is far from normal; her wonderful, funny, science mad Dad has died; a disappointing trip to NASA means they will not include a recording of his laugh among the contents of the Voyager Spacecraft and now she has been followed home by a lonely Black Hole, who she names Larry.
Larry swallows everything he touches which initially becomes a convenient way for Stella to rid herself of her ‘11 year old’ everyday annoyances. In go her little brother’s irritating choice in music and toys, the horrible homemade sweaters made by her Aunt, a fair few Brussel Sprouts etc but then Stella realises Larry can be fed the painful reminders and memories of her Dad that she can’t bear to live with.
However, hiding what is to difficult to face inside an unwitting Black Hole does have its consequences and adding to that the Black Hole’s fondness for the warm and fluffy, it is only a matter of time til Stella finds herself floating through Larry’s darkness in a bathtub with her little brother and an odorous giant hamster, on a quest to find not only the the family dog, but an acceptance of all that is hurting her and a way back to a new ‘normal’.
In ‘The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole’, Michelle Cuevas has carefully balanced the light with the dark, sublimely mixing the ridiculous with the serious to create this beautiful ‘Hand Hold’ of a book. Not only does it lead its reader in a ‘down the rabbit-hole-esque’ tale of sheer wackiness, it seamlessly imparts some heavy science knowledge while all the time soothing and healing those as lost as Stella.
Full of melody, levity and very, very wise, ‘The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole’ is more than just an enjoyable surreal adventure. It is a invaluable guide through grief for big and small people.
The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole Michelle Cuevas
Simon and Schuster ISBN: 978-1471170188
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