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    Face Value

    I was taken aback by how much I genuinely enjoyed this book and how many layers I could see within it. Told from the perspective of the eponymous Elvira Carr it gives a touching and beautifully wrought insight in to life - not just life for someone with a "condition" but life for all of us. To be perfectly honest I think we would all be better for a touch of Ellie's honesty in our lives and by taking things literally and at face value we could avoid so much unnecessary pain and heartache. Although I would miss a good FOS. We are never told exactly what Ellie's condition is but it is quite clear that she is on the Autistic Spectrum and I leant heavily towards Aspergers as she functions quite highly in social situations. I did like how her condition (as it is constantly referred to) is always though informing her behaviour and her choices and her understanding of situations but it is an accepted part of the character and seems a perfectly normal way for a person to be; it is the reactions of her mother, her neighbours and people outside the safety of her home who's reactions and behaviours seem shocking. The plot has a bit of the Seinfeld's about it as really, nothing actually happens. The real activity takes place in the changes in Ellie's life with her mother falling ill and how she has to learn to cope with a minimal support network. We get to watch her make her first tentative steps to independence and the rules that she invents to help her get her through. This both touching and frustrating in equal measure and you do feel like you want to scoop Ellie in to your arms and support her as much as possible - especially with all the revelations about her father. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for something a little different to the norm and about people rather than things or events. There are some quite dramatic reveals in this book but they do take second place to Ellie's reaction to them.

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