This was an absolute delight to read. It was an emotional journey at times, that seemed to meander along, not saying a lot, but saying so much at the same time.
I adored 11-year-old Allegra, I loved the way she thought, she was a delight to get to know. I struggled along with her in the situation her grandmother’s had put her in, along with her father Rick. I could completely feel her having to split herself 3 ways to keep everyone happy.
I really liked Rick, I felt sad for him, that somehow he’d been pushed out of Allegra’s upbringing, like he was only there on the periphery, now and again being allowed to be her father. I was pleased when things started to turn around for him and he took some control. I love how Rick uses surfing to connect with his daughter and at times he had some very philosophical things to say.
Allegra’s grandmother’s, Joy and Matilde, well they were two completely different people, their characters having a great impact on Allegra and how she was forming as a person. I never really took to Matilde, though I did gain understanding and respect for her along the way.
Joy is a woman’s libber as Allegra discovers and owns a penny turtle called Simone De Beauvoir, I’m interested in finding out more about Simone’s writing after reading this novel. Her fight to help women in trouble is inspiring.
There were some big secrets being kept from Allegra and some huge hurts that needed to be mended if life was going to allow Allegra to grow into her own person.
Allegra’s friend Patricia, her only true friend was inspirational and made such a difference to Allegra and the way she thought, she bought so much knowledge and insight, that Allegra may not have discovered without her. I loved that Allegra didn’t notice or care about any differences she may have had with her friend. Patricia is clever and insightful and is such a wonderful friend to Allegra.
Over the course of the story, there are many changes that happen to Allegra and her family, all of them for the better. I enjoyed the use of music throughout this novel, helping to enhance the message or set the mood. I have looked up many of the songs since reading the book.
I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a heartfelt read.