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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Playing with the Grown-Ups

I don't know a single person from around my generation who did not read Roald Dahl as a child...or even as an adult. Because seriously, do you really ever grow out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or the BFG? Well Roald's writing gene has thankfully passed through the generations to his very beautiful granddaughter named Sophie. Sophie Dahl is famous for many reasons, first being that she is the granddaughter of a great author, her own writing, and for being discovered as a model while walking down the side walk in London. Sophie has written a previous book called The Man with Dancing Eyes. Her new book is entitled Playing with the Grown-Ups. In interviews she has said that the book is semi-autobiographical. The book is the coming of age tale about a girl named Kitty. The beginning of the book opens at Kitty's grandparent's house in the country. Kitty and her mother live with the grandparent's until Kitty's mother has one of her spiritual episodes and she decides they must move to New York City. The mother in the story is extremely flighty and prone to migraines which put her in the bed for days. Kitty grows up with very little supervision and therefore tends to be quite wild at times. She dabbles in drug-use and getting involved with older men. Ms. Dahl writes in a way that is very easy to identify with. At times during the story I felt like I was reading about my own adolescence. I absolutely adored Kitty and I wanted to give her guidance through all of her trails as a young woman. Although the artist mother, Marina, is not a great parent or role-model I felt for her. Marina allowed herself to be manipulated by many men and she would fall into a deep bouts of depression every time she was cast to the side by them. I loved this book because it was an easy read but still very literary and interesting. I hope there are many more books in Sophie Dahl's future because she has certainly made a fan out of me.