Welcome to the comments and discussion of the Young Adult Cancer Book Club! We are reading A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, after an idea inspired by Siobhan Dowd. Catch up on pages 1-22, pages 23-43, pages 44-65, pages 66-85, pages 86-107, pages 108-126, pages 127-141, pages 142-158, pages 159-172, and pages 173-196.
Let’s get started!
Commentary by Yolanda:
“Something In Common”
This chapter opens up with Connor having faced his nightmare, although he didn’t want to. His grandmother is frantically looking for him because his mother is nearing the end. She finds him asleep under the Yew tree and asks him where he has been. They hurriedly rush back to the hospital to ensure they don’t miss her last moments. While they drive Connor apologies to his grandmother and again he hears from an adult that “it doesn’t matter” hinting that there are more pressing things in life right now.
They share a tender moment before they reach the hospital, his grandmother points out, and they both agree, that they aren’t a natural fit for one another. But what they do have in common is his mum. She is what they have in common, seeing as she was the most important person to either of them.
Connor and his grandmother burst into his mother’s hospital room, hoping that she is still hanging on. The nurse informs them that they made it in time, also pointing out that Connor was finally found. His grandmother sits beside the bed and holds his mum’s hand and informs her that both she and Connor were there. His mum then reaches out her other hand for him to hold and Connor dialogues with the Monster as to what to do?
The monster is with Connor, as he is afraid, telling him to tell truth. He takes note of the time on the wall, waiting for the infamous 12:07 he is used to. The Monster tells Connor that he is to tell the truth, he will be able to face whatever comes his way and he took his mother’s hand. It was then that Conner recognized that this was his nightmare, but simpler and just as hard. It was in this moment that he realized that was the reason that the monster came walking, to help him get through what he already knew was going to take place with his mum.
Connor finally speaks the truth to his mum telling her that he didn’t want her to go, she responds that she knows this. All the while the Monster is holding Connor up and helping him to stand in this moment. Connor repeats that he doesn’t want her to go and leans down to tightly hold her until… He knew that she would slip from him soon, but he could let her go knowing he spoke his truth.
Join in next Monday for the final step of the book club!
Thanks for joining us for pages 197-206 (“Something In Common” and “The Truth”) of A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness! Join in next Monday for the final step of the book club!
We will talk about a few chapters each Monday until the book is done. If Monday happens to be a holiday, then the post will publish on Tuesday. Once we finish the book, we’ll use one more Monday to talk about general feelings from the book and anything else you’d like to discuss. We’ll also have a video chat book club discussion at the end! Join in, in the comments every week! Also, there will probably be spoilers so read along with us!
Excited about the young adult cancer book club? Have any suggestions for future reads? Let us know!