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Goggle-Eyes by Anne Fine

Goggle-Eyes (1989)

by Anne Fine

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Not your typical story about a girl who is jealous of mom's serious boyfriend. Very little space is given to Dad or the pre-divorce days, and I think the little sister says maybe two sentences. And, Mom's previous boyfriends were acceptable to Kitty; it's not really about generic broken families.

This has an interesting initial premise - a classmate is going through similar stresses at home, and Kitty is sent to talk to her. The teacher apparently believes that Kitty's story-telling talents will help the other girl feel less alone and more able to be in class. It also has an interesting secondary theme: apparently Fine is absolutely fed up with UK politics, with 'Strategic Defense' and the lack of real education in neighborhood schools and the de-emphasis of real books in the libraries. The story of how Mom and the girls participate in protests against nuclear armaments, with friends who are so avid to make a statement that they negotiate arrests with the local police, is enlightening, and simultaneously intense and funny.

And the actual theme is novel, and speaks directly to me. Can people who completely disagree on something so fundamental still want to be together as a family? Because here's the thing - Mom's boyfriend, aka Goggle-Eyes, is convinced that Strategic Defense is real (if he'd been American, he would have loved Reagan). But Mom works in a hospital, and sees daily the suffering, and dying, that a small portion of military money would alleviate... not to mention she doesn't want her girls to grow up, or not, under the threat of a war that would destroy the entire biosphere.

(Well, I'm putting a lot of my own words in that explanation. Fine wrote for children and took a different, more clear, tack at explaining the politics.)

Should Kitty stop fighting Goggle-Eyes and let her mom consider marrying him?
Should I have married the very good man who loved me dearly ... who is a homophobe?
Would I have done so if I'd read this book back when I was deciding not to? ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Good book it talking about how to deal with new friends and discusses the feelings of children about married their parents.I enjoyed it ( )
  getreadingadw | Mar 22, 2010 |
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Helen came into school today in the worst mood.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140340718, Paperback)

Kitty Killin is not only a good storyteller, but also the World's Greatest Expert when it comes to mothers having new and unwanted boyfriends. Particularly when there's a danger they might turn into new and unwanted stepfathers...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:27 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Kitty is not pleased with her mother's boyfriend, especially his views on the anti-nuclear issue, until unexpected events prompt her, after all, to help him find his place in the family.

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