Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Private Worlds of Julia Redfern by Eleanor Cameron

  • THE BOOK
    • The Private Worlds of Julia Redfern by Eleanor Cameron
    • Published January 1988
    • The final book of the five-book Julia Redfern series

  • THE PREMISE
    • Julia is now 15 and still living with her family in Berkeley, California. Now it's 1927.
    • She is busy with school and involved in acting while continuing to write stories for publishing.
    • Her high school acting pal John is a good friend and maybe more? Spoiler: yes.
    • Meanwhile Julia's uncle is acting fishy, completely forgetting his lunch plans with Julia.

  • MY THOUGHTS
    • Eleanor Cameron wrote this series in reverse chronology: in book 1 Julia was 12 years old and about 5 in book 4. At that point she decided she needed to go back to the future as it were and write a final story about an almost grown-up Julia in book 5.
    • In the earlier books we have met Julia's mom's brother Hugh and his wife Alex. Aunt Alex is never anything less than subtly cruel to Julia while lauding Julia's older brother constantly. You always wonder how this pleasant man ended up with such a rich snobby woman.
      • Well, we find out when we and Julia meet his "old friend" to whom he was in love before marrying Alex.
      • Interesting that an adultery plot is part of a book ostensibly for young teens!
    • Julia's widowed mother married "Uncle" Phil three years previously and he is still a thorn in Julia's side but we never see him being anything but kind to her even if he fusses at her to turn down her record player volume in chapter 1. Julia thinks he's the devil but he is such a tiny part of the narrative (he has about one or two more lines in the entire book) that I almost wonder why it was included. Just to keep Julia extra angsty, I guess.
    • The series ends well, with Julia finding romance, her brother Greg all but engaged and even Uncle Hugh getting a happy resolution to his problems.
    • I am glad to have finished my tour of Eleanor Cameron books! They were good; she was a good writer.
    • Recommended for those who enjoy a good story about 15-year-old girls.

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