A school family history project allows Josie Green to piece together a jigsaw whose existence she was only aware of subconsciously. Just who is Aunt Aggie, she begins to ask, and why does she pay Josie so much attention? And why are Josie and her elder sister Fran so different from each other?
Many 9-year-olds experience an ‘am I adopted?’ phase, while many 12-year-olds, like Josie, would surely love to ‘divorce’ their sisters – uncertainty about our origins can be a very real part of the separation process as we begin to forge our own identities in the teenage years. Here the twist is in the mystery of Fran’s birth, and the deception that has been perpetuated around the subject.
While I could quibble about the details – after all, aren’t many, if not most, siblings very different from each other? – I enjoyed the story’s twists and turns as the (rather unlikely) truth gradually emerges and the sisters are drawn together to help each other cope with it. Adolescence and sibling rivalry are well depicted as is the observation of adult behaviour.