When Hilly’s grandmother becomes ill with Alzheimer’s disease, her family is turned upside down by revelations from her life during World War II.
Hilly’s German grandmother, HeidiGran, comes to live with her family after she gets Alzheimer’s disease. As her mind becomes more muddled, secrets buried in her past start to emerge. Why does HeidiGran keep talking about a girl named Rachel? And why does she make racist remarks about Hilly’s friend, Ruben? As Hilly struggles to cope with revelations about her family’s past, she encounters racism and prejudice for herself when a friend becomes the victim of a mindless attack.
This evocative and deftly told novel explores prejudice and its effects on multiple generations in one family.
From the Hardcover edition.
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As a child Linda Newbery was a secret writer, filling exercise books with stories which she hid in her wardrobe. Now she is a published author of over forty books, mainly children's and teenage fiction. She has been shortlisted for many prestigious literary prizes and has won the Costa children's book award. Linda lives in an Oxfordshire village and enjoys yoga, gardening, walking and the cinema.From School Library Journal:
Grade 8 Up-Hilly, an English teenager, has a lot to contend with in this lengthy novel. Heidigran, her senile grandmother, has come to live with her family; her friend Reuben has become involved in a relationship and she is jealous; and she discovers that her father has had an extramarital affair and that her younger sister Zoë is having a fling with a skinhead. Then the plot thickens. Heidigran is increasingly confused about her own identity and that of others in the household. Reuben's Palestinian boyfriend, Saeed, is badly beaten in a bias incident and Hilly is afraid that her sister's friends are at fault. Next, Hilly meets Saeed's brother, and falls in love with him, but when her family realizes that Heidigran has been repressing all memories that she was a Jewish child who came to England in the Kindertransports from Nazi Germany, Hilly's newly revealed ethnic background threatens to sabotage the budding relationship. All this and more is presented in a text that flips around in time, fluctuating from Hilly's point of view to her grandmother's and back again. Such a combination of complex issues is undeniably ambitious. Themes of fidelity to family, religion, marriage, sexual orientation, country, friends, and lovers are all touched upon. Unfortunately, many of the plot elements get short shrift and the book as a whole seems to sink under its own weight.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
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Book Description Laurel Leaf, 2006. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0553494503