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Aoife Walsh lives in Oxford with her husband and three children. She quite likes cooking, and quizzes when she knows the answers, and reading, and excellent American television. And cakes and fine wines. Read a note from the author here.
Aoife Walsh excels at creating stories about sprawling, blended contemporary families, exploring the tensions and love that hold them together with a sensitivity that is still always clear-eyed. Dallas’s family are all struggling after the death of her mother in an accident, the arrival of her impetuous aunt from Texas only adds to the stress. Dallas’s best friends Aiza and Ruby have their own issues to cope with too, but the three provide each other with real support. The campaign against the possible closure of the local library, loved by Dallas and her mum, provides a focus for her energy and allows her to work out what she wants. A poignant, convincing story with wonderful moments of humour and by the end Dallas and her family will feel like real friends.
Minny has a pretty complicated home life: she lives with her mum, big sister Aisling, Bible-obsessed little sister Selena and baby brother Raymond in her Czech granny’s house, which is now sometimes shared – to her and her sisters’ consternation – with her granny’s new boyfriend. Mum relies on Minny to help both with baby Raymond and Aisling, who is autistic. None of this is easy, and when her father suddenly reappears after five years of near silence with a new, pregnant partner, it all gets too much. This warm, convincing portrait of a family facing all sorts of difficulties is almost a contemporary version of Little Women. Readers will sympathise hugely with Minny and Walsh does an excellent job in describing the kind of love that holds families together, no matter what. ~ Andrea Reece
When Phoebe and her brother Adam get left with a baby they are determined to keep her a secret. Although their parents have always fostered children they are currently living apart so it just doesn’t seem the right moment to introduce a new baby into the home. Instead, with little knowledge and no previous experience, Phoebe and Adam look after her in their shed. Can they keep Iris safe and can they keep her a secret? Phoebe tells their story vividly bringing to life the complication of their situation against a vibrant background of an unusual family life.
Dallas's life was turned upside down the day her mum was killed in a traffic accident. Now she lives with her brothers, step-sister and her mum's partner Gemma in a too-small house filled with bickering and grief. As the end of primary school approaches, Dallas learns that the local library has run out of funding and will soon be closing. Dallas decides she cannot let another thing she loves be lost. Together with her friends Aiza and Ruby, and her freewheeling American aunt Jessi, she starts a campaign to save the library for everyone. A beautifully told tale about family, grief and growing up.
Meet Minny: her life is a complicated whirlwind of unbearable PE lessons, annoying friends and impossible-to-live-with siblings. Minny is desperate for some space in a house spilling over with family and hangers-on. She has to contend with her autistic sister Aisling's school bullies, whilst trying to keep her self-absorbed BFF Penny happy, and look normal in front of new boy Franklin. And on top of this, now Dad has announced that he's returning to London - with his new girlfriend. Secrets, lies and home truths will out, frying pans will be burnt, and arguments will flare up in a story full of humour, honesty and minor household emergencies.
'But we don't know the first thing about looking after babies.' Phoebe's mum and dad are foster parents, and they're having a tough time. Her dad's moved out for bit, and her little foster brothers are playing up. So when Phoebe and her brother Adam find a baby abandoned in their den, they decide to try and look after her themselves . . .
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