Sarah's Stars

W.D. Valgardson. Frances
Groundwood Books, ISBN 0-88899-397-8  $8.95  190 pg.
Reviewed by Robyn

Thirteen year old, Frances, lives with her gran and uptight mother, who has slightly eccentric ideas on the upbringing of her child. Frances longs to discover more of her Icelandic past, but her mother forbids it. Frances is determined to learn more.

Frances, longing to gain more knowledge of her ancestors, searches her relatives old house. She stumbles across a musty, well used diary, but only to discover it's written in a strange language. Feeling rather lost, she takes the diary to an old man, a translator. As Frances listens to the adventures of her ancestors, she soon learns more about her Icelandic past.

I found that W.D. Valgardson's book Frances  didn't have as much adventure as I'd hoped, and I found the reading slow going. The author used too many abbreviations (for names) in her story.  It was hard to remember what they stood for, and I had to constantly flip back in the book to find what they meant. However, she made up for this with her knowledge of Icelandic myths, which I enjoyed. Frances is an easier read (suitable for lower intermediate students). I give the novel, Frances, three stars.


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