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The Birds, the Bees and Other Secrets

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  49 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
It is the mid-1960s, and 13-year-old Cassandra Fitzpatrick is growing up in a household full of waifs, strays and general misfits. Despite her unorthodox home life, however, she is generally content - until something happens to her that turns her life upside down.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by MacMillan UK
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Anne
Oct 17, 2009 Anne rated it it was amazing
This is a really quirky novel but beautifully written. At times it is very funny, and at other times, very sad. So many emotional issues are covered in the story, yet it is never heavy, or dry or boring.
The novel starts with Cassandra sitting at her dying Mother's bedside, and then goes back to the early 60s and recounts their life together. Their family life was very unusual for the time, in that Cassandra's mother was a single mother with two children, both by different men, neither of who wer
...more
Michelle Moore
Apr 28, 2015 Michelle Moore rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2008
Growing up in the sixties, Cassandra has a rather unorthodox home life. Her mother is a single parent, falling in and out of various jobs, and sharing her home with many interesting characters. She has a tendency to treat Cassandra as a friend, rather than a daughter, and yet their relationship is generally a happy one, always full of love.

Cassandra has to deal with an episode of abuse, that stays with her as she grows, and also being sent to boarding school. This is somewhere that she initially
...more
Loopyloo100
Aug 13, 2008 Loopyloo100 rated it really liked it
The novel begins with Cass visiting her mother in hospital and then looks back over the journey of Cassandra, then age thirteen, through her life in the sixties with her unconventional mother, who enjoys inviting many strange characters (including “Call me Bill”) to live in her home as she is very much a people person and loves to be surrounded by them. An unfortunate event at home encourages Cassandra’s mum to choose to send her to boarding school, which is the last place Cass wants to be. We ...more
Grace
Dec 03, 2014 Grace rated it liked it
I this was a nice book, but I wouldn't exactly call it a favourite. The Birds, the Bees, and Other Secrets was a touching story about a young girl who grows up to accept and move on from her problems and mistakes. It's also about her as she sits beside her dying mother, remembering the pass that turned her into what she is now. The author managed to write this book in a great way, a series of events that turn things around in ways that you don't expect, like when the baby dies.

The second half of
...more
Danielle
May 07, 2014 Danielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-library
I loved this poignant and moving book filled with characters who come to life and leap off the page. It is beautifully and flawlessly written.

A wonderful humour weaves its way through the narrative too, giving a down-to-earth mix of tragedy and comedy, just the same as in real life.

At times I had tears in my eyes. There were also moments when I laughed aloud. The pages kept on turning and it soon became hard to put down.
I cared about the central characters - Cass and her Mum, dear Greta, Call-Me
...more
Gurth Bruins
Dec 29, 2013 Gurth Bruins rated it it was amazing
A very satisfying read for one who wants a cultured and intelligent author, and appreciates mature objectivity, by which I mean the ability to understand opposing points of view.
So readable, with a style beyond criticism, totally natural and unpretentious, and of course, being a woman, she realises it's all about the heart. Not money or fame.
Jodie Dickey
Jan 19, 2013 Jodie Dickey rated it liked it
A woman looking back on her experiences of growing up in the 60s with an unconventional mother/family situation and how her experiences of men and family affected how she grew up. I liked the style of writing but found the story a little lacking.
Sarah
Apr 16, 2016 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good but lacked reality. Somehow did not matter how much was put into the story, it still lacked grit.
Rowena
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Tim Stretton rated it it was amazing
Oct 03, 2012
Marina Roberts
Feb 24, 2013 Marina Roberts rated it it was amazing
Nicely written, very easy to read. A few unexpected turns make you keep reading to the end.
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