Anonymity is not happy. Her sister is off exploring Europe, her dad is going through a mid-life crisis, and her mum has a strange new boyfriend. And no-one (not even the other three musketeers) understands why she is worried about all this.
The problems all started, it seems, when her parents had a blazing row which culminated in their separation – enter John, Corinne’s boyfriend, after Anonymity’s dad left home in disgrace. Anonymity is not comfortable with ‘try-hard’ John, but her mother is in denial and her friends are pre-occupied by other interests like new boyfriends.
James Roy has a talent for writing from the point of view of young people – and, as an observant father of adolescent daughters, has created realistic female characters.
He knows about shopping, the dream of the European holiday, the fantasies about the ‘perfect’ boyfriend, and the reality of the times when friends let you down – just when you really need them. He also captures the awkward positions that teens sometimes find themselves in; the times when they are powerless to speak up, afraid they are perceiving things differently to reality. Because of this, he has the reader of this tale questioning the motives of some of the characters, and worrying about the situations Anonymity faces in these awkward times.
Anonymity wants her life back – back to the times when her parents were together and happy. But as her friends explain – times change, and “sometimes you just have to take what you get, and be happy for that.” Whether Anonymity accepts this idea, and how she deals with the things life throws at her, reflect a lot of things we can all identify with. This is the power of a good book – one which get the reader involved, one which is believable and one with believable characters.
The places Anonymity finds herself in, as a consequence of what life throws at her, are well worth considering – how they might have been avoided, prevented or warned against. Makes you wonder why James called her ‘Anonymity’ in the first place?
What do you think?