The split ISBN: 9780575054479
Published by Gollancz, 1993
When Anna is thirteen, her parents suddenly split up. As her mum is Swedish and her dad English, she has to choose where to live. Most of her life has been spent in England, so Leeds it is. Anna is self-sufficient, rather a loner. No friends are mentioned, and her sad story is told in the first person. Her parents are well-off, her father a work-a-holic and her mother a lovely blond, who has tended to put Anna down as 'thick'. She is close to her little brother, George, who stays with mum in Sweden. Anna has a complex character and her emotions are clearly articulated. In her loneliness, she meets a crusty old man, who has a border collie whom he maltreats. Anna comes to love the rather maniacal dog, Connie, and even to accept cantankerous Asa; but when Asa drowns Connie's puppies, she is unforgiving. Connie is killed in an accident brought on by her manic misbehaviour, and Anna is devastated. Her father comes up trumps on this occasion, and in a final scene, when Anna articulates to her selfish parents how they have hurt her, she learns to accept they are not perfect. Not a difficult read. It puts forward realistically a child's emotions about divorce.