Life already has lots of challenges when you are entering your teen years, right? Well, throw in an extremely challenging brother and a secret your parents are keeping from you, and that makes life difficult.
Olivia has this to deal with, as well as a growing infatuation with Ben, who she thinks her best friend is also keen on. How tragic can life be?
‘Dandelion Clocks’, by Rebecca Westacott, presents these, and many other typical ‘teen’ issues in an authentic voice – that of Olivia, as she deals with a major family event. How she copes (or not) feels very real, as the story deals with the ups and downs of a typical teenager – but with added complications.
Rebecca Westcott addresses many mother-daughter issues in this novel which has really strong and noticeable characters. Living with a brother with Asperger’s is challenging enough for Liv, but then it seems that her whole world falls apart.
How the family copes with a major event in their lives varies – dependent on who they are – mother, father, daughter, son. But as the tale is told through Olivia’s (Liv’s) eyes, we watch her struggle with family responsibilities, friendship loyalties and young love.
You may need a box of tissues in some parts, or just be happy to laugh at the differences in the generations, as Liv compares her mother’s diaries to her own life experiences. Either way, Dandelion Clock has a lot to make you think about how relationships change and develop over time, and how we might consider what’s worth hanging on to in times of trouble and grief.
## Readers might also like ‘Life on the Refrigerator Door’ by Alice Kuipers (previously reviewed), which also deals with mother-daughter relationships at a time of crisis.