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A new and truly powerful novel from internationally bestselling Jenny Downham, author of Before I Die. Spanning three generations of women in one family, Jenny sensitively addresses dementia, single motherhood and teenage angst.

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Quick Reference

ISBN 9781910200643
Barcode 9781910200643
Published 3 September 2015 by David Fickling Books
Format Hardback
Alternate Format(s) View All (7 other possible title(s) available)
Author(s) By Downham, Jenny
Availability Internationally sourced; ships 6-12 working days

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9781910200643
ISBN-10 1910200646
Stock Available
Status Internationally sourced; ships 6-12 working days
Publisher David Fickling Books
Imprint David Fickling Books
Publication Date 3 September 2015
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Hardback
Author(s) By Downham, Jenny
Category Fiction (Child / Teen)
Award Winning
Parents' Divorce & Separation, Family Break-Up
Number of Pages Not specified
Dimensions Width: 153mm
Height: 216mm
Weight Not specified - defaults to 1,000g
Interest Age 13+ years
Reading Age 13+ years
NBS Text Young Adult Fiction
ONIX Text Young adult
Dewey Code 823.92
Catalogue Code Not specified

Description of this Book

Three women, three secrets. Katie, seventeen, in love with someone whose identity she can't reveal. Her mother, Caroline, uptight, worn out and about to find the past catching up with her. Katie's grandmother, Mary, back with the family after years of mysterious absence and 'capable of anything' despite suffering from Alzheimers. As Katie cares for the elderly woman who brings daily chaos to her life, she finds herself drawn to her. Rules get broken as allegiances shift. Is Mary contagious? Is 'badness' genetic? In confronting the past, Katie is forced to seize the present. As Mary slowly unravels and family secrets are revealed, Katie learns to live and finally dares to love.

Unbecoming addresses the complicated and sometimes difficult relationships between 17-year-old Katie, her mother and her grandmother. Hugely emotional in its engagement with painful loss, it is both a searching account of the impact dementia can have on a family and a vivid and exhilarating celebration of life and love across three generations. Truly a story for our times.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

Awards Short-listed for The Bookseller YA Book Prize 2016
NZ Review Praise for Before I Die: Before I Die is so real, so sad, so true - and I so wish I'd written it myself (Jacqueline Wilson)
UK Review Bertrams Star Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

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Author's Bio

After Jenny stopped wanting to be a ballerina (aged around seven) she felt as if there were only two choices of career for her - an actor or a writer. In 2003 she won first prize in the London Writer's Competition and began writing her first novel. In February 2007 it was finally finished and it was swiftly snapped up and published as the internationally bestselling Before I Die.

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