Challenge criteria: A book set in two different time periods.
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…
What I liked:
This book really did play with the emotions. It’s a complete roller coaster, bringing you from giggling in your seat to reaching for some tissues in just a few pages.
I loved the relationship between Margot and Fliss. It may have been frosty at the beginning, but that was to be expected for two people who have barely had much time together in their lives.
I loved the diary, and the insight to Margot’s past. It’s something I wish I had for my parents and grandparents, and when it ended – quite suddenly – halfway through the book, I was devastated.
What I didn’t like:
The story of Peanut the piglet stole my heart from the first time it was mentioned. I really wish there was more of this in the book.
I didn’t understand why Fliss’ family kept the truth about her mother’s condition from her. If I had been Fliss, I would have been furious.
I’d loved as well to have known the story behind Megan Jones, and why she chose Fliss as the target. Though I suppose, there’s very rarely a reason why someone is singled out by a bully.
Out of five?:
Five. This book ripped my heart to pieces, but I absolutely loved it. It’s definitely one to add to your TBR for this year.