Oven chips for tea ISBN: 9780440865582
Published by Corgi Yearling, 2004
Kat and her younger brother Nick and 5 year old sister Emma always have Saturday tea at their gran and grandad's. The first intimation that something is wrong in the family is that gran produces oven chips instead of her usual home-made ones. The three children assume it is their parents who are in trouble; they are always fighting. But it is grandad who is leaving home to move to Spain. Since his recent stroke, grandad has changed. Or has he? Kat begins to realise he has always been slightly detached, perhaps not as close to them all as Kat has believed, even during his active encouragement of her table tennis skills. He has been her coach and greatest support, and now that she is up for the under-fourteen England squad, she can't believe he is deserting her. Kat does her best to make him change his mind, but from the beginning it is obvious that she won't. When her dad finally makes her see that she is in some ways using grandad for her own purposes, and that she is being quite as selfish as he is, she begins to come out of her teen stroppiness. This is a fascinating story about a family trying to come to terms with an unusual break-up. It explores feelings and motives thoroughly and is a sophisticated approach to the problem of family members going their separate ways.