Bee can see what others can’t, especially her older sister Grace who has shut down many aspects of her senses because of her grief. Through Bee’s eyes real and imaginary people live side by side. While Grace is preoccupied with her new boyfriend and sitting at the ‘top table’, Bee’s imagination soars to other realms. She longs to visit Hotel Magnificent to embrace the dead and hopes to be reunited with her parents, whom she lost too young. In her world lines aren’t blurred and realms collide and work together. When she is asked to write a list of real things, Grace believes the psychiatrist’s advice will help save her young sister, not realising that she needs to be saved as well. It is only when she sees the world through Bee’s lens that Grace comprehends her own grief, and both sisters begin to heal. Their visit to the unknown reconciles two generations of siblings pushed apart by loss.
Sarah Moore Fitzgerald’s latest, poignant novel explores the true meaning of friendship, love and loss, while celebrating the extraordinary, the eccentric and the unexpected. The List of Real Things highlights teenage angst and the acute preoccupation of the privileged while simultaneously exploring the true meaning of family, identity and belonging. A novel not to be read lightly – but enjoyed thoroughly.