You can't kiss it better ISBN: 9780099403470
Published by Red Fox, 2003
Anna is 12, and she is being fostered by Megan. She is 'imaginative' - which means she tells porkies about her mum, an alcoholic who has disappeared. She is also into reading, and 'The Wind in the Willows' is prime favourite. The river that runs near Megans's house in Edinburgh is as much a character in the story as the four foster children who end up there: Anna, Raymond who is unnaturally quiet and withdrawn, 8 year old Sam, weedy and sad, and Brent, a sullen teenager who ultimately causes huge problems. Two of these children, Anna and Raymond have relatively happy endings. Brent ends up on the streets, no one knows where, and Sam comes back to Megan after a brief sojourn at home. Social workers are well portrayed in this novel, and Megan is a warm and understanding foster mum. Anna, convinced that she has 'divine discontent', feels 'trapped in time, inside [her] own life', and she thinks that no one 'over sixteen understands joy and how strong it is and, at the same time, really delicate'. The writing is also delicate but strong and realistic - a combination of straight text, letters, and Megan's diary. A gem of a novel. We really care about these children.