The suitcase kid ISBN: 9780440863113
Published by Yearling, 1993
Andrea (Andy) is the victim of an appalling divorce. Both parents have new partners with a rum set of five children between them, and Andy is the odd one out. She spends alternate weeks with each parent, belonging to neither place, and having to share a room with children who resent her. Her only support is Radish, her toy rabbit, and she daydreams constantly that she and her mum and dad and Radish are back in their old home, Mulberry Cottage. Andy is a survivor. She gives as good as she gets, and it is hard to see how all the complicated relationships could possibly survive the pressures. There is a lot of humour of a grim sort - a wry tone that lightens the atmosphere - but also backbiting and tension. Andy's school work suffers, and she starts playing truant. Her problems only begin to be solved when she meets an elderly couple who act as surrogate grandparents. She begins to learn to get along with some of her step-siblings, and when a baby arrives in her father's new family, she loves her. Not a happy story, but there is hope for the tough little heroine.