Note that there are spoilers in the below section.
The third and final section of the book was definitely my favourite, not only because it ties up all the loose ends but because it shows Geraghty’s skill as a writer. As you would have read previously, I’ve been fairly ho-hum on Kat’s character so far – she’s selfish and ignorant, immature for her age. That all changes when Ed, her brother is rushed to hospital. (Just wondering if it’s normal for an ambulance to take 20 minutes for an emergency like that? It sounds like it would be rather a high priority!) Contacting Thomas was probably one of the best things she could have done as he gets to witness her life-changing, total turnaround in attitude when Kat is confronted with the potential loss of Ed. I thought the medicine was a little shonky there – angiogram and pacemaker in the one operation and it read like pacemakers are inserted through the groin – ouch! But I digress. The main point here was Kat needed something to shock her into the real world and this did it. It also stopped her whinging about turning 40, which I didn’t relate to at all (not being near it probably).
The change in Kat’s behaviour is astonishing – she’s smiling and being, well…nice. Human. Could it be that Milo and his phone call to her had a role? Maybe. Milo is an incredibly sweet, thoughtful young man wise beyond his years. When Kat has her press conference to reveal her status as Killian Kobain, the matter of the blackmailer is dealt with rapidly and never mentioned again. Given all the tension previously, to have only a couple of paragraphs mentioned was a letdown for me. The blackmailer should have been given his just desserts in a more detailed way in my opinion!
Kat’s mad dash to England to see Faith was fun – wouldn’t you like to eat at The Funky Banana? (I would, but then I really like bananas). I’m surprised that more wasn’t made about missing Christmas with Ed and her somewhat-closer family, but I guess this is because Kat is spending it with her recently rediscovered family. The character of Celia is a nice light point and I love the way she and Kat match and try to better each other’s statements when they first meet. The skipping over of Kat and Faith’s ‘big talk’ is interesting – I think it would have been an awkward discussion and a difficult one to write but the total absence of it was an anticlimax for me. Enter as enemies, leave as friends without seeing the change of heart.
It’s interesting that like Milo, Kat and Ed take up lifesaving. Is that because Milo’s been such a good lifesaver through the book in the relationship between Kat and Faith and Kat’s now redeemed, she can save lives too? Maybe. Perhaps it’s just another form of bonding.
Some may find it a bit lame, but I liked that Kat wrote her story and called it Lifesaving for Beginners, also published by Geraghty’s publisher, Hodder & Stoughton. It was a sweet way to pay tribute to what happened and the bonus with Thomas – a beginning, but no definite ending was what we’d been hoping for!
Overall, I found this book a little uneven in emotion relating to Kat, but it could be that I read it over the three weeks of the readalong. There’s not a great deal of surprises, but it’s a comforting read that is enjoyable.