This Is All

This Is All

The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn

Book - 2005
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Described by the author as an adult novel for teenagers and a teenage novel for adults,This Is Allis a richly entertaining and challenging read. This Is Allis a self-portrait of a passionate girl from the time she is 15 until she is 20, written by the now pregnant Cordelia who plans to give the story of her teenage years to her daughter on her 16th birthday. She wants to include all kinds of things she wrote as a young woman as well as the episodes and thoughts she has now as she compiles her book. Cordelia models her book on the famous Japanese journal,The Pillow Book, by Sei Shonagon. She tells the story of her mother (who died when Cordelia was 3), of her father and her aunt Doris (who marry when she is 16), of her love for William Blacklin, the boy with whom she first has sex -- and with whom she falls deeply in love. She writes about her spiritual teacher, and describes her love affair with an older married man, and her terrifying sexual experience with an unbalanced young man who is obsessed with her. Her book includes thoughts on being a woman, on poetry, music, reading and writing, on being pregnant and finally, of her marriage to William. It is, by turns, funny, poignant, sad and exciting, and ironic and truthful about topics that parents often do not discuss with their children. Aidan Chambers's provocative and challenging novels for teenagers and young adults have won him international acclaim.This Is Allis the sixth and final book in a loosely connected sequence of novels that began withBreaktimein 1978.
Publisher: London : Bodley Head, 2005.
ISBN: 9780370326849
Characteristics: 807 p. :,ill.


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Jul 10, 2012

I have read this book a total of 5 times. I have to say it is one of my favorites of all time, and has really changed my perspective on the world. The first time I saw this book, I found it to be boring and tiresome, but after slogging through the first 100 pages, Cordelia Kenn (the main character) began to grow on me. In fact, I wouldn't mind being best friends with her, although some of her weirdness is a bit over the top. Perhaps the strangest thing is that this book is written by a guy, but is so intimate, covering all the aspects of being a girl. That aside, I recommend this book to anyone who'd be willing to overcome the books strangeness (mountains worth of it) to find is beautiful, still-beating heart.

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