Another Life Altogether

Publisher: Anchor Canada
A profoundly moving, heartrending story of a girl's struggle to love her mother in spite of her frightening mental illness

After years of living in the shadow of her mother's mental illness, thirteen-year-old Jesse Bennett is given a fresh chance at happiness when her family moves to a village near the coast of Northern England. But just when it seems Jesse might be able to build a new life, her mother's worsening mental state and the secret Jesse fiercely guards about herself threaten to destroy the fragile stability she has found. Caught in the tempest of her mother's moods, her father's desperation, and the cruel social hierarchies ruling her school life, Jesse is forced to choose between doing what's right and preserving the normal life she's always hoped for.

From the Hardcover edition.


Chapter One

The day after my mother was admitted to the mental hospital, I told everyone at school that she had entered a competition on the back of a Corn Flakes box and won a cruise around the world.

“How long will she be gone?” asked Julie Fraser, who sat among the girls crowding...
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"Another Life Altogether captivated me from the very first page. Dazzling in its authenticity and utterly absorbing, it is an uplifting story about adolescence, family, and finding one's place in the world. With the character of Jesse Bennett, Elaine Beale manages to create hope and humor in an otherwise turbulent world. It is a rare, insightful, and gorgeously written novel."
-Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants

"Elaine Beale is an extraordinary writer, and Another Life Altogether is heartbreaking and hilarious all at once, as only life can be."
-Sandra Cisneros

"Sparkling. Beale [reveals] a mature talent with a sharp eye for both the intricacies of the surface detail and the complexities of the inner life. [She] reminds us that writing, always potentially dangerous, also confers grace, and that with the power of the word, we all have the potential to become the heroines of our own lives."
-Boston Globe