Sita Brahmachari has written a beautiful, poignant story about a month in the life of a shy girl called Mira. It is written a lot like a diary - following Mira as she tries to steer a safe path through the trials of being part of a hectic family, being tormented by peers at school and preparing to lose her Nana (with whom she has a very special bond) to terminal cancer. Mira learns about keeping secrets, observing the world like a writer, and she starts to fall in love - getting stronger and braver all the while.
Mira's grandmother is a very complex and wise woman, with a lot to teach us all; she faces death with great dignity and I definitely - as Sita warned in her Foreword "disappeared" into this book and came out "a slightly different person". The characters in this book are vividly drawn and the reader is likely to find him/herself completely drawn into Mira's chaotic family life as they watch Mira grow in confidence and begin to spread her wings as a teenager.
TV Recommendations - I have 2 quite light, humorous ones for you:
Me & Mrs Jones [BBC1] - which is a lot like the Slummy Mummy column, or the book I told you about in my previous blog. A single mother - primary school age kids and an older son from a different relationship, an ex-husband who still treats the house like his home (he has an odd, controlling Swedish girlfriend) and there is a single date she meets at the school date who is keen to get to know her better. If this wasn't enough to juggle with- her son has brought home a friend and the sparks are flying between Mrs Jones and him too (the gorgeous grey-eyed Nathan from Misfits!!! woo hoo!)
Second is Switch [ITV2] which is about 4 girls in their early 20s, living in a flat in Camden and doing witchcraft in a modern world. Using withcraft to take short-cuts and fix relationship troubles gets them into all sorts of scrapes. If you've got half an hour to spare, either of these is worth a watch!