Step by Wicked Step – Book Review
An important lesson I learned in Step by Wicked Step by Anne Fine is that children need love and care as they are the ones who suffer the most in a family break-up. I am going to compare and contrast Claudia and Pixie. There are similarities and differences between them which can be observed clearly throughout the story. All five young people have faced the strains of torn loyalty, had to accommodate new partners in their parents’ lives and had to work out resolutions to parents childish quarrels.
Summary and moral of this book: Five classmates find a journal kept by a boy who ran away from his stepfather, which prompts them to tell their own stories of stepfamilies. Little do they know that they share a common bond–they are all members of stepfamilies. And each person reveals his story, step-by-step. This positive look at life in extended families is encouraging for those children who have coped with similar upheavals and informative for those who have not.
Plot and Novel Summary: Children need love and care for they are dependent on their parents during their growing years. They think that their parents will be there for them always and when parents go their different ways or newcomers come into the family, they feel let down and sad.
Richard is quite devastated when his father dies and his mother marries the cold and harsh Reverend Coldstone who turns out to be mean and wicked to him. He feels left out while his sister tries to adjust to the new situation. He feels that he cannot do the same. He feels that his mother is also not there for him and so he runs away from home.
Claudia feels miserable to see her parents fighting and is bitterly hurt when her parents break up. No doubt she adjusts to the new situation after a while but others do not react the same way as she does. Colin likes his stepfather but his mother takes him away from him and so Colin ends up suffering a great deal. He spends his life longing to be with his stepfather again.
Ralph, on the other hand, enjoys the love of his many stepmothers and siblings. There is much disorder in his family but the fact that there are care and love among the members keeps him and the family going. Pixie has to struggle through some emotions and make adjustments to understand that she is loved by her father and stepmother. Robbo accepts his stepfather more readily than his sister does. His sister does not care for their stepfather and she returns to her father. All these examples show that children instinctively look for love and care and need lots of reassurance. When that is missing, they feel devastated and are likely to suffer and face great difficulty in adapting to a changed family situation.
Finally: Anne Fine does not shy away from the fact that separation and divorce are painful, but she does have an uplifting message about the power of honesty and compromise.