When handling money does anyone ever think of where it came from? Did your mom have this bill tucked away in a saving account until you happened to ask for it? Did the man buying the coffee have to dig through his glove compartment to find that crumpled dollar? Or did this woman’s three year old daughter grab hold of her money and doodle stuff across the back?
Yeah, I’ve never really thought about it either but in Take Note by Gill Burnett we’re introduced to HE75 229564, a 10 pound note that began its journey at the hands of a grandma who has lived her life to the fullest and moved onto an interesting cast of characters who have used that note to bring them just a bit of happiness.
When I first requested this book I didn’t think much. The summary sounded interesting, after all, what kind of story would we be told with money as our main character? I never really expected to find my next favorite book in these pages.
This ten pound note whose story you are about to read is HE75 229564. It’s one of a kind. It travels its own journey telling its own tale. There won’t be another ten pound note that will travel the same route.
What is a ten pound note worth? Or more to the point, how much is HE75 229564 worth?
I really enjoyed all the characters we got to meet through HE75 229564 and if it weren’t for Rita Simms, the old granny who made me think of what my mother would be like in her old age, I probably wouldn’t feel as attached to these characters as I probably would if it had been someone else. Once I established that connection with one of the characters I continued forward. In every chapter we would meet someone new who had received HE75 229564 and we’d get tidbits of their lives.
Sometimes the stories would intertwine, like the first three that went through Rita Simms, her granddaughter Kate, and Kate’s boyfriend Adam’s story. Sometimes it would suddenly go to someone completely unrelated like Billy the Kid who just happened to be helping with a delivery one day. Most of the stories felt very unique to me and even after finishing the book I can recall the stories and imagine real people. At the same time, there were moments where I could predict what the story would be like because it had a cliche feel to it (and of course the author would then throw me a plot twist and I’d be wowed all over again!).
None of the character interactions or dialogues felt forced and I just breezed through one story after the other. Some left me really emotionally drained (like the one with Susan Cole and Alzheimer’s) while others left me wanting a side story that would explore more of their lives (like Jason Lee and his family).
If I had to complain about something it would be that each story would end as soon as HE75 229564 would leave a character’s possession and sometimes I would get too invested in a single story. One example is Jason Lee and his family. Everything that played out was like some novela that I could watch with my parents and get super excited about because the drama!! But then we were left at a cliffhanger and oh my god I am burning because what happens after that?!
But of course this isn’t an actual complaint because I really liked that about this book. It really keeps me invested in the book and even after it’s over I still can’t stop thinking about it.
The only reason I ended up not giving this book 5/5 is because some of the stories were a bit dull (Billy the Kid, Emma the to-be actress, and Kitty and her secret girlfriend). These were also some of the shortest stories and I feel like they could have been fleshed out more, especially considering the topics they were trying to explore. Not to mention that compared to the Jason Lee story or Susan Cole story, these just felt subpar.
Overall I really recommend checking this book out! You can find it on Amazon for $13.99