LoveReading4Kids

Becoming a member of the LoveReading4Kids community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...

Find out more

Toffee

Written by Sarah Crossan

Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 13+ readers Featured Books for Young Adults General Fiction Poetry

LoveReading View on Toffee

A fractured family, dementia and finding a place that feels like home

Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020

Another insightful and compassionate free verse novel from the queen of this increasingly admired form, this time exploring the transformative relationship between an abused runaway teenager and an elderly lady with dementia.

Allison has grown up “stepping on eggshells” to circumvent her father’s violence. While she often wonders whether his behaviour was “all my fault”, one of his outbursts compels her to run away. With nowhere to go, she finds sanctuary in the house of an elderly woman called Marla. Marla has dementia and thinks Allison is Toffee, her best friend from childhood. After spending some time in Marla’s company, Allison decides to “stop correcting her… I like the idea of being sweet and hard, a girl with a name for people to chew on.” Moreover, in meeting Marla, Allison has found an unlikely kindred spirit: “I am not who I say I am. Marla isn’t who she thinks she is… Here, in this house, I am so much happier than I have ever been”.

Returning the favour, Allison enriches Marla’s life – she listens, she indulges Marla’s desire to dance - while Marla’s carer and son show no real regard for her happiness, as if she’s beyond life, which makes Allison’s attentiveness all the more heart warming. Both vulnerable, they find strength through each other. With incredibly moving insight, Marla says of Allison’s dad, “none of it was about you. It was about him. It’s always about him. Surely you know that.”

The writing is compellingly fluid, flowing freely between Allison’s precarious present and the tragic, abusive circumstances that sent her careering down this path. While fleeting, the impact of their time together is monumental, and I felt privileged to have spent time in their company.

Joanne Owen

Toffee Synopsis

When Allison runs away from home she doesn't expect to be taken in by Marla, an elderly woman with dementia, who mistakes her for an old friend called Toffee. Allison is used to hiding who she really is, and trying to be what other people want her to be. And so, Toffee is who she becomes.

But as her bond with Marla grows, Allison begins to ask herself -where is home? What is a family? And most importantly, who am I, really?

Toffee Press Reviews

Impossible not to read it in a single gulp - The Times

Utterly sublime - Cecelia Ahern

Compelling and beautifully wrought - The Sunday Times

A book that changes its reader for the better - Guardian

Undoubtedly one of the best books of the year - Irish Times

One of our most original writers - John Boyne

Very special - Daily Mail

If you loved this, you might like these...

Chessboxer
With the Fire on High
The M Word
The Black Flamingo

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781408868133
Publication date: 06/02/2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781408868126
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781408868133
Publication date: 6th February 2020
Author: Sarah Crossan
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 416 pages
Suitable for: 13+ readers, YA readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories, General Fiction, Poetry

About Sarah Crossan

Sarah Crossan has lived in Dublin, London and New York, and now lives in Hertfordshire. She graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Literature before training as an English and drama teacher at the University of Cambridge.  The Weight of Water and Apple and Rain were both shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. In 2016, Sarah won the CILIP Carnegie Medal as well as the YA Book Prize, the CBI Book of the Year award and the CLiPPA Poetry Award for her novel, One.   Sarah is the go-to writer of the free verse novel in the UK and ...

More About Sarah Crossan

More Books By Sarah Crossan

Cover for The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan
Cover for Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan
Cover for Toffee by Sarah Crossan
View All Books By Sarah Crossan

Share this book

LoveReading
LoveWriting
LoveReading4Schools
NEW INDIE AND SELF PUBLISHED BOOK REVIEW AND PROMOTION SERVICE LAUNCHED!    Read More
×