From Publishers Weekly
Jesse Bennett, the 13-year-old heroine of Beale's charming debut, longs to escape the humdrum life of Britain's East Yorkshire. Stuck in a small town with her unstable mother and ineffectual father, Jesse wants to see the world, but her hopes of breaking free are dashed when her mother attempts suicide and her father, reasoning that a change of scene will help his wife recover, moves the family farther into the country. But the people of rural Midham are less than welcoming to the strange new arrivals. Eventually, Jesse falls in with Tracey and Amanda, the toughest and most feared girls in town, though with this security comes increased scrutiny: Jesse must pretend to be just like her mates, and even though she cares nothing for clothes or boys and despises the meanness, she develops a crush on Amanda that threatens to end unfavorably. Beale's lively narrative captures, with touching accuracy, the plights of adolescence; if the novel sometimes veers toward the saccharine and relies on less than surprising plot twists, Jesse's affirming arc offers hope in a place where it's in very short supply. (Feb.)
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"Another Life Altogether
captivated me from the very first page. Dazzling in its authenticity and utterly absorbing, it is an uplifting story about adolescence, family, and finding one’s place in the world. With the character of Jesse Bennett, Elaine Beale manages to create hope and humor in an otherwise turbulent world. It is a rare, insightful, and gorgeously written novel."—Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants
"Elaine Beale is an extraordinary writer, and Another Life Altogether
is heartbreaking and hilarious all at once, as only life can be."—Sandra Cisneros
"Sparkling…Beale [reveals] a mature talent with a sharp eye for both the intricacies of the surface detail and the complexities of the inner life…[She] reminds us that writing, always potentially dangerous, also confers grace, and that with the power of the word, we all have the potential to become the heroines of our own lives."—Boston Globe
“Another Life Altogether
is an extraordinary true-to-life book, and Beale tells a number of important and poignant stories all at once with great skill.” — Feminist Review
“One of the most satisfying aspects of Another Life Altogether
is how well-executed the plot and climax are; the second half of the book… is fast-paced and engaging…. Ultimately, Another Life Altogether is about the power of speaking the truth… Beale handles these moments of truth-telling with grace and aplomb; that is the reason to read, and enjoy, Another Life Altogether
.” — Lambada Literary
From the Hardcover edition.