When Lily's mum goes off to Spain with a man she has just met, and their intended babysitter on a coach to Glasgow, eleven-year-old Lily is left home alone and in charge of her younger siblings, Baxter, Bliss and Pixie.
Whilst the premise of Lily Alone
was intriguing, the ending of ruined it for me. It finished so abruptly that it was as though a whole chapter or something was missing. There was no resolution and, although a reader could perhaps guess
what could happen, I wanted to know
. This is not some high-end literary fiction where you're supposed not to have a clue, this is a kid's book, and I was expecting to be satisfied
. I didn't necessarily want or need a happily ever after, I just wanted to know the end.
And it doesn't seem as though Jacqueline Wilson is clamouring to write a sequel either, although that could potentially be rather interesting.
On a separate note, Lily's teacher, Mr Abbott, seemed a bit overly concerned about Lily for my liking. Perhaps that's my cynical side coming out, but I just found him a bit odd.
I'm not sure.
things I enjoyed about the book, however.
I liked the fact that Lily and her siblings all had very distinctive personalities, and that, although they were predominantly defined by one character trait, they had other facets to their characters. Baxter, for example, was not just boisterous; he cared about his twin and little sister, was afraid of the dark, and hero-worshipped a father he hardly saw.
I also liked the fact that Lily had conflicting emotions about her mother, which seemed realistic given the circumstances. She hated her at points, but wanted her home. She wanted to take care of her siblings, but also resented it. She wanted to protect her mother, despite everything. Jacqueline Wilson really captured the voice of a confused, frightened young girl forced to grow up before her time.
I also really enjoyed Lily's imagination, and the way she used it in order to keep her siblings entertained. The fact that it didn't always work added to the realism, haha. :P
All in all, I did enjoy this book and would recommend it to others, but Lily Alone
could have been a lot better with a proper ending.