Stephan Lee
March 10, 2015 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Man at the Helm

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Nina Stibbe
publisher
Little, Brown and Company
genre
Novel

We gave it a B+

As kid narrators in adult books go, 9-year-old Lizzie Vogel is the right blend of naive and precocious. The middle of three children, she watches her once well-to-do English family fall to pieces when her father walks out—and ships mom and kids off to a country town. It’s 1970, but the new neighbors’ views of unmarried women run Victorian. Suffused with shame, Lizzie’s mother resorts to alcohol, pills, and—to Lizzie’s particular horror—playwriting. Lizzie’s scheme to find a suitable match for her sparkles with humor as British as mincemeat pie. B+

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