Matilda has a best friend, also called Matilda. She would dearly love her parents to get married, but her Mum has left home and Matilda has no idea where to find her. When her friend gives Matilda a bridesmaid dress as present, she decides to advertise herself to be a bridesmaid for somebody. In the process, she exasperates her long-suffering Dad, makes some new and unexpected friends, and finally finds her Mum. But the story doesn’t end how she wants it to, because her Mum has remarried and moved on.
Written in characteristic Jacqueline Wilson style, this is one for her existing fans as well as one to captivate new readers. Characters are clearly and honestly drawn. Settings are realistically created and the plot convinces you that it is entirely possible that one single child can get herself into so many scrapes.
As Matilda romps from one self-made dilemma to the next, you will laugh, sigh, sympathise and cry. The ending is realistic, rather than happy. Tilly is forced to accept that her parents will never get back together and Wilson pulls no punches about Tilly’s feelings of rejection and abandonment. But as she comes to terms with her sadness, she finds that there can also be happiness in life as she realises how much friendships matter.
As ever, Jacqueline Wilson deals honestly with real issues that happen to real people in ways that children can relate to. She doesn’t hide the pain or distress, but she does show that while we cannot control what other people do, we can choose how to react to it. This is a great read for any girl who loves Jacqueline Wilson in particular and a really good story in general.