Release Date: 26th January, 2017
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Fliss is on the way to visit her grandmother in Wales – the grandmother who she doesn’t get on with – with her mother who is recuperating from chemotherapy. But her mum is getting better, that’s the main thing, so Fliss can concentrate on being grouchy and not looking forward to meeting her grandmother Margot, who is so cold and always so unforgiving of Fliss’s every mistake . . . But when the six months is up, Fliss consoles herself, she and her mum will go back to London and back to Real Life!
In the meantime Fliss needs to get used to her new school, not upset the scary girls, and just keep her head down (whilst still making sure that everybody knows she is from London, of course). Then Fliss discovers a diary at the back of her bookcase. It is from the 1940s and is set in World War II, and, Fliss realises, is actually Margot’s diary from when she was a young woman during the Blitz. Intrigued, Fliss begins to read. There she discovers a whole new side to Margot, a wartime romance and also Margot’s deepest, most buried secret. And it is then that Fliss discovers something terrible in her own life that she is going to have to come to terms with…
Here was my initial review on Goodreads:
I highly enjoyed this read, not only did I laugh, I cried, I cringed and overall LOVED this book.
First, the structure of this book was good and I especially liked reading about the two different eras and comparing them. Also, to have a diary aspect to the book made it feel a bit naughty and as if you shouldn’t be reading it. It sounds geeky but it was exciting to be nosy into a fictional character’s diary. The way this worked was seamless, drifting from Fliss’ day back to 1941 and back with a very clear sense of awareness.
The setting was absolutely beautiful and it is fantastic to read a book from a different part of the UK! Most YA books are set in or around London or just generally down South. I’m not sure if Llanmarion is a real or fictional place but it is set in Wales nonetheless so YAY for a bit of diversity! Diolch Juno (Thank You Juno)!
Margot was a fantastic character because she wasn’t your usual sweet and cuddly grandmother stereotype. She was tough as nails and had a real grit about her. When I found out all about her past, it explained a lot about her demeanour and made me really understand Margot more. Do not write her off at the beginning.
Felicity (Fliss) is a character that grew on me as time went on. At first I found her quite shallow but then again, she grows and develops for the better. Her passions are what make her character fabulous and her grudge against Margot is hilarious to read about.
Although Julia (Fliss’ Mum), is talked about and seen quite a lot in this book, I feel like I don’t know her well enough to even have an opinion of her. She pushes herself through for Fliss and its obvious that both Mum and Fliss have been through the mill.
Overall, I loved this book because of the heartbreak involved and the beautiful relationships along with the hard and negative ones. Another amazing book from the fabulous Juno Dawson, long may she reign as a YA must-buy author.
Enlightening, Heart-breaking and Beautiful.