The divorce express
Danziger, Paula
Published by: 
  • Heinemann, 1986 (ISBN: 9780340795392)
  • Hodder, 2001 
When first reading this some years ago, I rejected it as meant for over twelves. On re-reading it now, the style seems so clear and the emotions so right, that I felt it could be used with younger people. There is a boy/girl relationship, but lightly handled. Phoebe's parents have just divorced. Her mum lives a posh life in New York City while dad, with whom she lives, has a house in Woodstock and is a semi-hippy artist. Weekends are spent in N.Y. with mum - hence the coach, the 'divorce express', which carries numbers of children between two homes each weekend. Phoebe meets Rosie, another traveller on the divorce express, and Rosie helps her adjust to her new school. The problems for Phoebe and her parents as they sort out the emotions and practicalities of dual existence are very well handled, as is the fact that Phoebe matures greatly along the way.. New relationships with new partners come along for both parents, and Phoebe approves of her dad's choice, but cannot like her mum's money-grabbing N.Y. business man. It is obvious life in Woodstock is the happier option, but she learns to live with her mum's choice too. The book has a lot of wit and humour in it, and Phoebe is likeable and ordinary.
Age: 11+