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Anita and Me is written by Meena Syal who first came to my attention in the hit comedy Goodness Grascious Me which starred four Asian comicsin a series of sketches. This book tells the story of little Meena growing up in the West Midlands and having to deal with the conflicts of a western upbringing within a Punjabi family structure, when she falls in with the local girl gang headed by Anita Rutter then matters start to escalate within the family and more conflicts surface especially when her Gran arrives to stay with the family. This is a truly delightful book to read, it is very funny and also rather touching, Syal captures the innocent uncomplicated outlook on life of a nine year old child who has a yearning to fit in and not appear different, however being te only Punjabi family in the village this is a far from easy thing to do. I found this book to be very appealing and well writen and I found it rather hard to put down, some of the scenes with the family are quite hilarious and it is clever how the innocence of youth is used to tell the story in a reflective manner.
Iloved this book. It is very well written and very descriptive of an up-bringing so alien to my own. I know it is fiction, but I still found it very educational just to have an insight into a life style to different from my own. Meera Syal demands sympathy for and interest in all of the characters from the second you open the book. Told through the eyes of a child, and about all the small journeys that children make, this is funny, sad and thought provoking all at the same time. I loved this and would recommend it to anybody.
Meena wants to be normal, she wants fishfingers and miniskirts and Jackie magazine. She yearns to be popular like her idol, Anita - local tough girl and mouthy gangleader. This proves to be somewhat difficult, though, as Meena is the only child of the only asian family in Tollington. Anita And Me is a hugely entertaining, moving account of growing pains we can all relate to. Syal manages to grasp something of the strangeness and violence of childhood, at a time of great change. She brings back memories of Zoom lollies and space-hoppers, bags of sticky sweets that lock your jaws together and most of all the longing to fit in and be one of the gang. I love the way she describes things - you can see everything immediately in your mind, as if you had lived in that town all your life and known every single one of it's inhabitants. I felt it was a little slow and jumped around a bit too much at times, but generally this is a great book to make you smile and remember and empathise deeply.