A glitzy world of fashion and celebrity unfolds in this story set in artistic – and affluent – areas of London. 14-year-old fashionista Nonie hasn’t yet found her niche, unlike best friends Jenny, an actress in an award-winning blockbuster, and Edie, who’s fired by global issues. But everything changes when she meets Crow, a 12-year-old dyslexic refugee from Uganda with an eccentric sense of dress and an indifferent air. She soon discovers that there’s more to Crow than pink fairy wings and crocheted caps – she has an amazing talent for drawing and is a budding fashion designer. More than that, she’s a genius with a traumatic past involving child soldiers, abduction and rebel armies. What follows is Nonie’s account of how she, her family and friends set about helping Crow fulfil her dreams and become a runaway success on the catwalk.
The characters – from supermodels to glamorous Granny – are likeable and passionate while Nonie reveals herself as irresistibly warm and generous with a self-deprecatory wit and sharp eye. The story is overwhelmingly funny and its themes of fashion and celebrity, comic situations and frivolous concerns are all the more engaging for being balanced by Crow’s haunting background. Fascinating details about haute couture and fabrics – and what can be done to highlight the plight of children in war zones – are skilfully woven into a storyline that is upbeat and thoroughly entertaining.