Review: Playing With the Grown-Ups by Sophie Dahl
With duel timelines, one with an adult Kitty returning to England to visit her mother who is in hospital and the other with Kitty as a teenager, Dahl weaves together an interesting portrait of an eclectic childhood and the effect that Marina's leaving the loving family home had on Kitty. Marina isn't a great influence--in fact she can barely take care of herself. The reader watches, horrified as Kitty begins to grow up too soon, and falls prey to various bad people, especially men, though the mature Kitty offers the reader hope that things will turn out all right in the end. The story doesn't get too bogged down in darkness, though there are some sad moments. The best parts, I felt, were the scenes featuring Kitty's grandparents. Although this is a work of fiction, I couldn't help but notice a few similarities between Bestepapa and Roald Dahl, who is, of course, Sophie Dahl's maternal grandfather.
Playing With the Grown-Ups is an entertaining read, told with a whole lot of heart.