A Review by Darlene Jones
A Kettle of Fish is the right title for this book, for when 17 year-old Ailsa questions the unknowns of her past she steps into a bigger kettle of fish than she bargained for. Harsh and gritty, but at the same time lyrical, Ali Bacon’s story of a young girl searching for answers reveals the hidden consequences of people’s actions.
Those directly involved in Ailsa’s life withhold information and keep secrets. Though none wish to harm her, the repercussions for Ailsa are huge. Bacon shows that actions, perhaps intended to protect, ripple from the center to impact those on the periphery. Hurts multiply and grow when secrets are kept.
How is Ailsa to find her way when so much that impacts her life is a mystery? She’s a gutsy girl. Taking care of her ill mother, working her way through the intricacies of relationships, making life impacting decisions about her education and her future, and trying to solve the mysteries around her will have readers anxious for Aisla’s welfare and rooting for her.
The story is set in Scotland. North American readers will find some unfamiliar vocabulary. That doesn’t detract from the story. In fact I found it to be enriching.