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Manny Rayner's book reviews

I love reviewing books - have been doing it at Goodreads, but considering moving here.

Currently reading

The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution
Richard Dawkins
R in Action
Robert Kabacoff
Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies
Douglas R. Hofstadter
McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture
Harold McGee
Epistemic Dimensions of Personhood
Simon Evnine
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Information Science and Statistics)
Christopher M. Bishop
Relativity, Thermodynamics and Cosmology
Richard C. Tolman
The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition
Julia Herschensohn, Martha Young-Scholten

Emilie N'aime Pas Quand Sa Mère Boit Trop

Emilie N'aime Pas Quand Sa Mère Boit Trop - Dominique de Saint Mars, Serge Bloch Lili is invited for a sleepover at Emilie's, but she has no idea what she's got herself into. It doesn't take her long to figure it out though. Emilie's mom has a serious drink problem, and when she's drunk she has wild mood swings. One moment she's dancing around the living room with the music turned up too high, the next she's yelling at Emilie. The two girls retreat to Emilie's bedroom, and Emilie pours her heart out to Lili.

The thing that shocks Lili most is that Emilie has palmed the car keys. "I'm so scared she's going to get herself killed one day!" she says, and can't keep the tears back. "It's like you're the mom!" says Lili. And it's true. Poor Emilie, who can't be more than eight, is the only person in the house who's taking responsibility. Her father is away on business most of the time. When he comes home, he just tells his wife she's useless and then leaves again.

The best bit is where Emilie is having to make her big moral decision, with her good angel and bad angel whispering opposing advice in each ear. The bad angel, complete with horns and pitchfork, is telling her that Mom would be lost without her and that Emilie should spend all her time keeping her out of trouble. The good angel is whispering that she should think of herself too, she's worth it.

I'm glad to say that the good angel wins out. At the end, we have Emilie's mom signed up with the local branch of AA, and Emilie spending the night at Lili's for once. "It's the first time I've ever said goodbye to her and not felt worried!" she sighs. One of the scarier books in this excellent series.