Rereading: THE PRIVATE WORLDS OF JULIA REDFERN by Eleanor Cameron

Cover art by Trina Schart Hyman

The fifth and final book of Cameron’s Julia Redfern series, both chronologically and as written, published in 1988 and her last novel for young readers, though she continued to write reviews and essays for a few more years.

Julia is now about fifteen, in high school, and her life is full of drama, both as an actress in school, and with her friends and relatives. At home, Julia has still not really accepted her stepfather Phil, though she knows he’s a good man who her mother loves, and that causes tension. She often escapes to spend time with her elderly friend Rhiannon Moore, formerly a next-door neighbor. Rhiannon has her own troubles, especially a nasty, nosy sister who won’t leave her alone, and covets her belongings.

At school, the drama club’s yearly play is Romeo and Juliet, and while Julia hopes to be Juliet, it goes to a rival. Meanwhile, a romance is developing with John, who will play Romeo. And then there’s the shock of seeing her married Uncle Hugh with an old flame in their private corner of the park. Everything in Julia’s life is in turmoil, and grown-up situations are pushing into her life in uncomfortable ways.

Highly recommended.

The Private Worlds of Julia Redfern by Eleanor Cameron

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