Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

As a result of bullying at school, Audrey ended up spending time in hospital and is now recovering at home. She still has an anxiety disorder which makes it difficult for her to interact with people or to leave the house but the doctors are confident she will get better and be able to start at her new school in September. In the meantime she is at home, in the middle of her rather mad and chaotic family. When her older brother brings home his friend, Linus, Audrey has to learn to interact with him too. And to make things harder for her, she finds him rather hot.

This book manages to convey the far reaching consequences of bullying, the difficulty of coping with an anxiety disorder, the impact this has not just on the person suffering but on the family as a whole and the seriousness of such an illness. Best of all, it does this whilst also making the reader laugh out loud. We never find out what actually happened to Audrey because that is irrelevant – what is important is how she and her family cope, how the world around her reacts and how, with the help of Linus and her doctor, she finds her way back to herself. There is a lot for the reader to take on and think about in this book, but the best thing is that readers can do this whilst smiling and laughing and getting a lovely warm feeling as they read about Audrey and Linus. I closed the book smiling.

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