Eleven-year-old Allegra has her work cut out for her keeping the adults in her life happy. There are her two grandmothers; flamboyant and free-spirited Joy and the stern and practical Matilde. And then there's Rick, her surfer dad. For as much as they all love Allegra, they can't abide each other, and she is forced to navigate the tricky dynamics stemming from a family history she is yet to discover.
Set in a 1970s Australia that thoughtfully reflects the feminism of the era, this is an engaging coming-of-age story narrated by the endearing Allegra. [Larger font]
An easy read, but more to the story than we expected. Possibly too many big issues in such a small book. An enjoyable ending.
The group thoroughly enjoyed this book.
This book was enjoyed by the whole group. It was quite refreshing in its portrayal of an 11 year old girl and her very different upbringing. Australia in the 1970s was distinctive in its feminism and working conditions etc. Highly recommended.
Fascinating book - as all our members are 50+, this really struck a chord.
We all enjoyed the book once we had sorted everyone out. Many issues which created much discussion. Pleased with the happy ending.
Range of views on this book in our group. The Australian-ness and the relationship between Rick and Al Pal were strong and marvellous aspects. The ending seemed a bit tidy to us though - including,for example, Matilde's total personality transformation. Also putting signage on a women's refuge is a very unlikely thing to do...and when is a tortoise a turtle
Good discussion, although it mostly focused on the book's shortcomings: poorly written, unrealistic voice for young narrator etc. We appreciated the focus on the women's movement, though some thought the characters were over-drawn, and it was pointed out that a refuge wouldn't have a sign!
Most of our group found this an enjoyable read. The story was fresh and the characters interesting. The themes resonated with many of us , especially those who grew up in the seventies. Some readers felt that is was written with a light touch, perhaps aimed at young adults.
Several really enjoyed this book with its beautiful sentences. Others thought it was too simple - too many themes. Written more for young adults, and needed more depth. Good but not earth shattering. Lovely Australian feel.
We all enjoyed the book. The viewpoint of Allegra was well drawn and a very authentic voice of a child. The grandmothers were equally delightful in their extremes, while the fact that Dad was held at a distance was quite poignant. Differing ages found separate issues to to touch each person in the group. We felt it was very easy book to read, and something more challenging would have received a higher rating.
We met on Zoom, and had a great discussion of the issues raised by this book. Divided opinions over its writing quality, but all agreed it got us thinking.
An easy to read book, enjoyed by most. The three influences on Allegra were interesting and thought provoking. Some found the ending lost their attention.
Most of us really enjoyed this book. We had quite a good discussion on various aspects. Found it interesting to have the story told from the point of view of an 11 year old.
Loved this book. Easy read.
An enjoyable story that we could relate to. Interesting, strong female characters. Heartwarming.
Loved by everyone - an easier read. Gorgeous story.
Easy read, young adult. Touched on many topics of the time. More development of themes required.