This arrived in a surprise parcel: thank you! The book seems very much a reprise of Double Act, with bookish Pearl in the Garnet role and wild Jodie as Ruby. Then there’s the intertextuality. At one point in the book a girl says she used to have a boarding school friend called Garnet and later on Pearl tells her mother about a book she is reading in class, a book which is obviously Double Act. There’s even a family move to a new house and job. The main difference is that the book is far longer, like most of Wilson’s recent work and has a genuinely shocking ending. As usual, the characters are believable and there is one particularly enjoyable chapter in which a wheelchair-bound woman and Pearl discuss The Secret Garden, What Katy Did and Heidi. I can’t help feeling that Dame Jacky was indulging herself a little here, but hey, she likes talking about books as much as the rest of us do and in her case she’s recommending them to thousands of girls at the same time.
I should write fewer posts like this. I just did a ‘reading level required to read your blog’ test and it came out as Junior High School! Perhaps I should be flattered; it must be the level required to read Jacqueline Wilson, too.