Thirteen-year-old Sadie lives alone with her mum in their seaside bed and breakfast. Her mum thinks Sadie doesn’t try hard enough at anything she does, and her teachers think she’s lazy. As for Sadie herself—she can’t believe that she’s any good at anything, even though she tries so hard.
Suddenly her mum becomes seriously ill and Sadie is left all on her own in charge of the B&B. There are guests arriving at any minute, and she has absolutely no idea how to make a bed, let alone cook them a fried breakfast. How will she cope? Marcus, the techno-geek from next door, tries to help, as does her feisty and clever best friend Kate, but ultimately it is Sadie who is put to the test as she copes with more than she ever thought possible.
Hilarious, moving, and poignant, this is a wonderful story about a girl who overcomes all odds and achieves success in more ways than one.
Thirteen-year-old Sadie is a reluctant helper to her mom in running Grace's Place, the bed and breakfast started by Sadie's dad before he died. When Sadie's mother is hospitalized with a mysterious and progressive disease that puts her in the hospital and robs her of even her ability to speak, Sadie is thrust into the role of innkeeper in order to maintain their only source of livelihood. Abandoned by her selfish aunt Leona and worried about not stressing her already sick mother, Sadie must keep school authorities at bay and the business running smoothly. Most young teens would crumple in the face of such a daunting task, but aided by her nerdy neighbor Marcus, who wants to do a business analysis of Grace's Place as a home schooling project, Sadie pulls off the challenging task until school ends for the summer. Sadie can now focus on keeping her mom and the B & B's guests blissfully ignorant of the lack of adult supervision, until a bachelorette party comes to stay and Sadie learns that one of the party is the head teacher of her grade at school. Sadie also faces more typical adolescent problems like parental, peer, and teacher expectations, and responds with the usual array of teenage feelings but also with uncommon resilience and resourcefulness. She's a great role model of alternative success for those who don't always excel academically. Set in coastal Wales, the dialogue is realistic and spiced with enough British colloquialisms to appeal to the growing numbers of teen Anglophile readers.