Audrey feels she will never get any better; she will never be able to ditch the dark glasses and meet people normally. However Dr Sarah has a plan – she challenges Audrey to film her life and her family. So through Audrey’s lens we meet them: her elder brother Frank, a laid back, computer games player; her mother taking parental anxieties to an extreme; her handsome father; and lovely four-year-old Felix. Will putting them under the spotlight help? Or will it be Linus whose matter-of-fact acceptance of her situation is a refreshing change?
This is a genuinely happy book full of humour and a cheeky look at the extremes of ‘normal’ family life. Kinsella is already top of the reading lists of many teen readers (and their mothers) for her Shopaholic series. Here, for a slightly younger audience, she delivers a similar package, taking a problem, handling it with humour but understanding, and giving us a family, painted in technicolour certainly, but still very recognisable. This is the lighter side of the type of story perfected by Hilary McKay, and very welcome.