Saturday, 21 January 2017

Margot & Me by Juno Dawson

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 417
Publisher: Hot Key Books 
Released: 26th of January 2017 

Sometimes love has to cross all kinds of barriers . . .

Fliss is on the way to visit her grandmother in Wales - the grandmother who she doesn't get on with - with her mother who is recuperating from chemotherapy. But her mum is getting better, that's the main thing, so Fliss can concentrate on being grouchy and not looking forward to meeting her grandmother Margot, who is so cold and always so unforgiving of Fliss's every mistake . . . But when the six months is up, Fliss consoles herself, she and her mum will go back to London and back to Real Life!

In the meantime Fliss needs to get used to her new school, not upset the scary girls, and just keep her head down (whilst still making sure that everybody knows she is from London, of course). Then Fliss discovers a diary at the back of her bookcase. It is from the 1940s and is set in World War II, and, Fliss realises, is actually Margot's diary from when she was a young woman during the Blitz. Intrigued, Fliss begins to read. There she discovers a whole new side to Margot, a wartime romance and also Margot's deepest, most buried secret. And it is then that Fliss discovers something terrible in her own life that she is going to have to come to terms with...

What I Have to Say 

This book has everything both in modern times and Margot's diaries. It looks into race, homosexuality and outsiders versus insiders in a little town in Wales and of course cancer. It deals with relationships crossing through three generations, the relationship between Fliss and her Mum and with Margot, showing the different relationships that can be had between family members. 

Margot and me was beautifully written and wonderfully constructed, with diary entries from Margot breaking up the modern day story of Fliss having to move in with the cranky modern day version of Margot. 

My only complaint would be that at one point it almost felt like Juno Dawson forgot about the war during part of the diaries. There was a part set in London in 1941 where there was no mention of the blitz. It felt odd that it was forgotten about, since the rest of the diaries were very accurate. As the rest of the book was so great though, I'm willing to put it down to Margot's memories of the time differing or artistic license on Dawson's part. 

All in all though, I think this is probably my favourite of Juno Dawson book so far. 

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