Another Life Altogether by Elaine Beale
Rating:3 stars (out of 5)
Genre: historical fiction
Review: I give this book 3 stars because the language itself is quite lovely. The story, on the other hand, leaves something to be desired. Jesse is a fairly standard teenage-girl-who-finally-learns-to-stand-up-for-herself-and-for-what's-right. She's a sympathetic character, but not a very interesting one. She seems like a dynamic character only because all the others are flat as pancakes (her parents don't so much grow as characters as just randomly start acting differently toward the end). Ultimately, though, it's hard to feel too much for Jesse, because she doesn't respond to her predicament in a believable way.
The story is set in a small town in northern England in the mid-70s (complete with some great descriptions of the clothes) and for that time and place, and what we know of her upbringing, Jesse takes her "predicament" far too easily in stride. We see very little internal struggle with her situation; the only real conflict in the story is how long she'll let things drag on. This does not make for very captivating reading.
FTC disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for this review.