The Diamond Girls
is a wonderfully typical novel by Jacqueline Wilson. It has everything her fans expect
and demand. "A typical slice of real life," proclaims the jacket. "Tough on the outside, warm on the inside." It has some great characters, who talk like normal people talk, some tough moments, some heart-melting moments, a few teasing cliff hangers and a satisfying ending. Hoorah for consistency!
Dixie is the youngest of the Diamond girls and the narrator of the story. Her sisters--Rochelle, Jude and Martine are all very different and each have their owns needs, strengths and weaknesses. Together with their mum, heavily pregnant with baby number five, the family move to a rundown dream house that turns out to be anything but. Its on the roughest estate ever, and is rough, dilapidated and dirty, with peeling wallpaper and rude words spray-painted all over the front door.
Disaster strikes immediately when Dixies mum goes into labour. Left to fend for themselves the sisters soon go their separate ways, despite their mums wise words that they should always stick together no matter what. Dixie is the only one who supports her mum when she comes back with Baby Sundance and helps to get the house put right and everybody back together. Its a big task.
Books by Jacqueline Wilson come along at adoringly-appreciated rate of two a year now--one in the Spring, another in the Autumn. But to dismiss The Diamond Girls as yet another novel in a production line of kitchen-sink trauma-dramas is to vastly under-appreciate its immense value and worth. Importantly, with each new story, Wilson deftly chronicles, with insight and skill, the sort of life many children may experience either directly or indirectly. Theyre entertainment, but theres more to them than that. Wilson is a national institution! (Age 10 and over) --John McLay
" She should be prescribed for all cases of reading reluctance." -- "Independent on Sunday" "From the Trade Paperback edition."