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Descripción de editorial
Following the success of The Shell House, Linda Newbery again demonstrates her brilliance at weaving thought-provoking subjects into a wholly satisfying and sensitively drawn novel.
Hilly's German grandmother, HeidiGran, comes to live with her family after she gets Alzheimer's disease; but as her mind becomes more muddled, secrets from her memories of life during the Second World War start to emerge.
Why does HeidiGran keep talking about a girl called Rachel? And why does she make racist remarks about Hilly's friend, Reuben? 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. She also falls in love for the first time.
This is a wonderfully evocative novel exploring the recurring prejudices that affect every generation.
Set in contemporary England, Newbery's (The Shell House) complicated novel deals with such big topics as racism, Alzheimer's disease, adultery and the Kindertransports of WWII. Disabled by Alzheimer's disease, Hilly's grandmother Heidigran comes to live with Hilly's family. This change in routine, coupled with the insidious effects of the disease, awakens memories that the older woman has spent most of her life suppressing. Intrigued by Heidigran's references to someone named Rachel, Hilly and her best friend, Reuben, a gay pianist, slowly piece together the truth. Readers following this mystery are almost always several steps ahead of Hilly and Reuben, thanks to flashbacks told from Heidigran's point of view. Meanwhile, Hilly worries about her gorgeous, high-maintenance sister, Zo , who is dating a "racist yob" whose friends may be responsible for brutally beating Reuben's Palestinian boyfriend, Saeed. As if all that were not enough, Hilly embarks on her first romance, with Saeed's older brother, an accomplished young man who aspires to be a doctor. The sheer abundance of plots and subplots keeps the pages turning, and lessens the sense that many of the novel's events seem to have been created in order to serve its larger themes. Plain-spoken Hilly and her down-to-earth family have enough appeal to cut through much of the didacticism found here. Ages 12-up.