The awkward age book review

5.58  ·  4,361 ratings  ·  317 reviews
the awkward age book review

The Awkward Age by Francesca Segal

In a Victorian terraced house, in north-west London, two families unite in imperfect harmony. After five years of widowhood, Julia is deeply, unexpectedly in love. If only her beloved daughter, Gwen, didn’t hate James so much. At the very least, she could be civil to his son, Nathan. Bringing together two households was never going to be easy, but Gwen’s struggle for independence, and the teenagers’ unexpected actions, will threaten Julia’s new happiness.

The Awkward Age is about the blended family; about starting over and the attempt to build something beautiful amid the mess and complexity of what came before. It is a story about standing by the ones we love, even while they hurt us. We would do anything to make our children happy, wouldn’t we?
File Name: the awkward age book
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Published 28.02.2019

Middle Grade Comics

The Awkward Age by Francesca Segal review – modern-day family fallout

In a quiet corner of north-west London, two middle-aged people fall in love. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Try Independent Premium free for 1 month. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium.

Thank you! After her father died, several years back, the now-teenage Gwen and her mother, Julia, were on their own, just the two of them. They tease and provoke each other, and the atmosphere of the house is, to say the least, tense. Gwen is faced with a choice that will determine not only her own life, but also the lives of the whole household. There are no clear answers here—not because there is no right or wrong but because family life is messy and teenagers even messier. There was a problem adding your email address.

After five years of widowhood, Julia Alden has met and fallen in love with James Fuller, a handsome American doctor. James and his teenage son, Nathan, have moved into the north London home Julia shares with her teenage daughter, Gwen. But as the novel opens, this is not so much a blended family as an elaborate civil war. Gwen is desperate to have her mother to herself, and wants Nathan and James out of the way; James finds her irritatingly needy. It is a full-on insurrection, and there is precious little the parents can do to curb it.

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In this spry and accomplished comedy of manners, a set of six characters — teenage, middle-aged and elderly — muddle their way through love, discovering that its tribulations are awkward at every age. This, however, is not a world in which such things happen. And in these environs one must remain stoic and sensible even when calamity strikes, as of course it does. As with so many knowing and carefully crafted novels, the first line foretells it all: The teenagers will ruin everything. Two households, then, both alike in dignity, in fair Queens Crescent where we lay our scene. Naturally, the kids hate each other, and naturally this defensive loathing rapidly gives way to something even more irksome for the grown-ups.


  1. James S. says:

    Personification in the tell tale heart goodreads killers of the flower moon

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