Monday, 13 October 2014

No Going Back by Alex Gutteridge, reviewed by Pippa Goodhart

No Going Back by Alex Gutteridge   

 Alex Gutteridge is brilliant at writing stories that feel light and easy to read, and yet carry a depth of wise consideration of life and love and loss and families and friends that keeps you thinking about the story long after the reading of it has finished. 

It took me a long time to become a real reader as a child.  I struggled with learning to read, so didn't see it as something to do by choice for fun for a long time.  My breakthrough book was 'Flambards' by K M Peyton, and I mention that because it was the same qualities of light first romance in a novel, together with moral dilemmas for characters I cared about, that I recognise in Alex Gutteridge's 'No Going Back' and her earlier 'Last Chance Angel'.  I think this will be a book that entices reluctant young (mostly female) readers of about twelve to fourteen into reading a story that will move them to laugh, cry and think. 

Described as 'contemporary paranormal', this is the story of fourteen year old Laura who has had to leave the London home she and her mum have shared since the accidental death of her father ten years before.  Now they must move to Derbyshire to live with ailing grumpy Gran.  But they aren't the only ones to move into Gran's house.  Suddenly the ghost of Dad is there too, well meaning but annoying in just the way that all dads are to their teenage offspring!  There are secrets from the past to be revealed, family misunderstandings to be sorted, and a kitten and boy to be flirted with and finally won. 


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