Just Like a Friend

Just Like a Friend

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Pretty, light-hearted Vi is Patti's best friend - she's also her mother. The two plan parties, buy matching sweaters and confide in each other. However, when a family crisis brings their good times to a halt, Patti must suddenly cope with adult responsibilities.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 159 pages
  • 140 x 220mm | 302g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 0192716530
  • 9780192716538

Review Text

Patti, 14, idolizes her mother, Vi, just 17 years older than Patti: a girlish, effervescent companion who loves to shop, provides a constant supply of homemade cookies, and is a favorite with Patti's friends. But when Dad, in his 50s, has a severe heart attack, Patti (with Grandma's help) is forced to take charge while her mother first gives way to: self-centered hysterics and then can't seem to adapt to Dad's changed needs. Patti copes well while maturing through a series of angry responses: at Vi, though since it's the family habit to protect Vi she doesn't tell her; at Grandma, who explains that difficult circumstances during Vi's childhood led her to be overindulgent; at Dad, who loves his pretty child-wife the way she is (since he's ill, Patti doesn't voice this anger either). With the help of a friend with a radically contrasting family pattern, Patti shapes a new identity for herself: realizing that being too good-looking can be "a curse," she begins to explore the joys of being smart. Dad and Grandma (who are the same age) find shared interests; Vi finds a new friend; and Patti begins to distance herself from her mother while accepting her as she is. A believable problem novel by an experienced author; the exasperation evoked in the reader by Vi's spoiled-brat behavior is a fair indication of Sachs' skill. (Kirkus Reviews)show more