The One Memory of Flora Banks - Emily Barr
Flora is brave, though she needs a tattoo on her arm to tell her so. She can accomplish anything, though she needs to read it in her book to remember. She is 17, but she still feels 10 and would not remember if she didn't see her 17 year old face in the mirror.
Flora has had amnesia since she was 10 and can only remember things from before that time. Anything that happened after, she can only retain for a few hours at most... until she kisses a boy on the beach one evening and the next day she can still remember it! She is sure this is the answer she's been waiting for and she knows if she goes to find him she will be able to remember again. The only problem is that he has left for Svalbard but when she finds her hidden passport it seems like a sign that she is meant to do this and off she goes on an adventure across the world.
On her journey she will see wonderful things, meet new people and find out that she is truly amazing herself. And in the end, with the help of her friends, she will find that there is hope for her and that she is brave enough to go for it.
Flora's rules for life are actually great rules for anyone to live by, for example, 'Be brave', 'Don't panic' and 'Always try to get a window seat'. Though 'If you find a cat with no ears, you should take it home' may not be quite so relevant or useful in everyday life.
This is one of those books that gives you so many emotions and feelings that you want everyone to read it so you can talk about it. Flora's story is so touching, uplifting and inspiring. It is written is such a way that you can feel Flora's confusion and the misplacement in time when she realises she is somewhere but doesn't really know how she got there. It is almost like waking from a dream every time. Definitely one of my favourite books in a long time.
Now for the book-inspired beverage. This is a bit of a departure on my usual suggestions as it is not really a cocktail, but the shandy really is made for Flora's story. In a way it encompasses Flora's two sides. When she's being rebellious, strong and brave, she always drinks beer. But when she's trying to be a good girl and behave as her mum wants her to, it is lemonade that she chooses.
This is probably one of the easiest drinks to make and can be done to your own personal taste. The basic recipe is simply half a glass of beer, topped up with lemonade. However, feel free to adjust the measurements if you're feeling rebellious!