Jacky Daydream

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Jacqueline Wilson
Doubleday
0385610157
Mar 2007
Handed the dubious mantle of being somehow wholly attuned to the minds and sensibilities of her child readers, Jacqueline Wilson�s prose has become increasingly emotionally dispossessed, as the marketing surrounding her books appears to have forced her further and further into a creative cul-de-sac.

Jacky Daydream�, her latest work epitomises this process by mythologising her own childhood alongside the preoccupations and ideas that have bubbled through the body of her work post-�Tracy Beaker�. What feels palpably frustrating to readers here is that the obvious capability of Wilson as a writer, her curiosity, intellect and intrigue, all of that potential is neither attained nor even properly attempted. Simmering preoccupations are never given full time to gestate, to develop and grow and thereby to reach the exhilarating climax of a rolling boil. By consequence, Wilson�s output has begun to feel, at best, increasingly formulaic and at worst, unashamedly stale.

With the exception of touchingly considerate and astute passages � notably those recollecting her father�s sensitivity and the manner through which his inability to achieve expression led to manifestations of anger � much of the book is enigmatic choosing to focus on the trivialities of which plastic dolls were favoured on lustful trips to Woolworths, rather than on the emotional grist of grappling with what inspires her as a writer, of what aspects of her own childhood burn bright at the heart of her own fiction.

As an autobiographical work �Jacky Daydream" appears peculiarly one-dimensional, it operates best as a series of reminiscences and on this level is not without appeal. That it chooses to omit reference to any of Jacqueline�s early work is strangely elliptical .

A sad lack of pride or sense of fulfilment in her body of work per-se pervades the book and is entirely disparate to the sparky enthusiasm and intellect with which professionals in the field will have experienced first-hand as Jacqueline articulated her literary tastes, beliefs and considerable enthusiasm during her time as laureate. This together with the quote �I was delighted to discover that children in adult novels were much more characters� with rich inner lives and fears and fancies� leaves readers anxious in the hope that Jacqueline will be afforded and indeed will afford herself as much time and emotional free-reign as is needed to write a book that truly matters to her, which realises the types of inner-life and motivation that modern children's fiction is able to embrace, and in which justifiable pride is able to be taken.




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This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on April 21, 2007 8:28 AM.

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