The Zigzag Road To Happy by Anita Heavens
Published October 13th 2016 by Terrapin Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
The first bend in the road came when little Nicky refused to eat the sausages. Before that she felt safe and loved and happy. Now the twist and turns of the road have brought 16-year-old runaway Nicky to London. A London peopled by snake dancers and leather clad bikers, handsome controlling young men and crafty old men with hidden agendas. Laughter and tears, pain and joy, the zigzag road offers it all, together with the hope it will lead to the freedom, excitement and sense of identity she seeks. Could the road take her back to happy? Just as Nicky believes that might be possible, a punctured tyre and a torch shining in the night threaten everything …. Based on a true story, this is a teenager’s journey of self-discovery in London of the 1960s. Book club discussion points are included at the back of the book.
I have received an e-ARC of this for free from netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The story is about Nicola, a sixteen-year-old girl who decides to leave home and venture out to London to live on her own.She leaves because of her depressed mother, who was very controlling of her life.
She goes out to the city to seek independence, living in a hostel and applying for a job. It’s a bumpy ride at first, but she gets the hang of it eventually. She meets a lot of people along the way and learns how to deal with different types of people. As the story progresses, we are treated to flashbacks of her life before she leaves home, showing us why ultimately she made the decision.
One thing I observed about the story though, is that the book also seems very boy-centric, stages of her life defined more by the guys she see. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I’m just a bit weary of this kind of portrayal of a story.
This is a good read overall, and the story is inspiring. I don’t see this as a story though that would stick to me in the long run.