A girl tries to cope with her parents’ divorce and her own developing friendships and romance.
This award-winner from Austria focuses on Charlotte, who has become enraged by her parents’ divorce. First, her mother moves the children out of their home and into Charlotte’s grandmother’s small row house. Then Charlotte spots her father with his new wife, a blonde bombshell. As her rage grows, she neglects her schoolwork and keeps returning to her old home, sold to new owners, who begin to shoo her away. Now 15, she meets new friends at school, including handsome, Italian Carlo, who’s trying to cope with the death of his father. But then her mother abruptly moves them again, into a home in their old neighborhood, as she begins a relationship with another man. Just when things begin to settle down, more turmoil occurs. At last Charlotte begins to see life through the same lenses as her parents and makes her own decisions. Kreslehner develops a multilayered characterization of Charlotte, convincingly getting under the skin of a girl whose life becomes disrupted by divorce. It’s an immersive, believable portrait of how adolescents cope, or not, with divorce, drawn from an inside view.
Powerful and deeply resonant. (Fiction. 12-18)