Someone Else's Life by Katie DaleSomeone Else's Life by Katie Dale

Someone Else's Life

byKatie Dale

Paperback | February 12, 2013

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Fans of Jodi Picoult, Caroline B. Cooney, and Lurlene McDaniel--teens and adults alike--will relish this emotional roller coaster ride of a novel.
     When Rosie's mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington's disease, the girl's pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a 50 percent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself. But when Rosie tells her mother's best friend that she is going to be tested for the debilitating illness, Sarah, a midwife, reveals that Trudie wasn't her real mother after all. Rosie was swapped at birth with a sickly baby who was destined to die.
     Devastated, Rosie decides to join her ex-boyfriend on his gap-year travels, leaving England to track down her birth mother in California. But all does not go as planned. In America, Rosie discovers more of her family's long-buried secrets and lies, and she is left with an agonizing decision of her own--one that will be the most heartbreaking and far-reaching of all.

KATIE DALE studied English literature at Sheffield University, spending a year at the Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, followed by a year at drama school, a national Shakespeare tour, and eight months backpacking through Southeast Asia. She is now busily working on a variety of projects, from novels to picture books.
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Title:Someone Else's LifeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:464 pages, 8.18 × 5.51 × 1.01 inPublished:February 12, 2013Publisher:PRH Canada Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385670761

ISBN - 13:9780385670760

Read from the Book

Sunlight dances over the little girl’s dark curls as she toddles clumsily through the dry grass. Her rosy cheeks dimple as she grins, her green eyes sparkling as she lunges sticky fingers toward the camera. Suddenly she trips. The picture immediately jolts and twists into the grass, continuing at a skewed angle as a chestnut- haired woman rushes over to the child. But she is not crying. The screen fills with silent giggles as her mother scoops her up, her beautiful face filled with tenderness as she cuddles her daughter tightly, protectively, holding her so close it seems she’ll never let go . . . The picture begins to blur . . . I click the remote and the image flicks off, plunging the room into darkness. I stare at the blank screen. It’s weird watching your memories on TV, like watching a movie. It’s like somewhere, in some wonderful world, those moments are trapped, bottled, to be enjoyed again. I wonder if heaven’s like that— if you get to choose the best moments of your life and just relive them over and over. I hope so. The world outside looks different already. A desert of white— the first white Christmas Eve in Sussex in years. The snow hides everything, glossing over the lumps and dips and tufts to leave a perfect, smooth surface. Like icing on a Christmas cake. It’s all still there, though. The dirty gravel that hisses and spits as you drive over it, the jagged rocks in the garden, the muddy patch where nothing grows— they’re all still there, hidden, sleeping, beneath the mask of snow. Like my mother. Nothing on the inside changed, the doctors said. She could still understand what we were saying, she just couldn’t respond like she used to. Couldn’t hug me and tell me everything was going to be all right, like she always had. Like I needed her to. Because everything was not all right. I pull the blanket tighter, but it makes no difference. I’m already wearing three sweaters. Ever since Mum got ill I’m always too hot or too cold— I can’t explain it. Yesterday was one of the hot days, even though it snowed practically nonstop. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy, standing in the snowy graveyard in Mum’s strappy stilettos and my red velvet dress among the whispering sea of black, disapproving sighs rising like smoke signals in the frosty air. But I didn’t care— the biddies could tut all they liked— she was my mother and the dress was her favorite on me. She called me her Rose Red. The shoes were her favorites too— I remember her dancing in them at my cousin Lucy’s wedding. I was about four or five at the time, hiding beneath the buffet table in protest at the fuchsia meringue I’d been forced to wear as flower girl. But when Mum started dancing I forgot all about that. I crawled out and just stared at her, mesmerized. God, she was graceful. Everyone stopped to watch her whirling, swirling form as she glided around the room, those heels clacking like castanets. When the song ended she stopped, breathless and slightly dizzy, and looked around as if unsure where she was. Then someone started to clap. Embarrassment flushing her cheeks, she ran a hand through her hair and scooped me up into a tight hug, her eyes shining with tears. It was only later that I discovered it was the first song she and Daddy had danced to at their wedding. The stilettos were one of the first heartbreaks of the diagnosis. I remember hearing Mum crying in her room one day and padding up to find her sitting on her bed, placing them carefully into a silver box like a coffin, shrouded with beautiful rose- colored tissue paper. The doctors said high heels were just an accident waiting to happen, and that, with everything else, was something she really didn’t need. I watched as she kissed each shoe before pressing the lid down gently and tying the whole precious package together with a blue ribbon. The first of many sacrifices to Huntington’s. That was a long time ago, though. That Mum died long before her heart stopped beating last Tuesday. The real Mum. The way I’ll always remember her, wearing those precious shoes and swirling and whirling away to her heart’s content. Not lying alone, small and frail and empty, in a hospital bed. The sharp ringing of the telephone makes me jump. I count the rings— one, two, three— and the machine kicks in. “Hello!” Mum’s voice sings, and my heart leaps. “You have reached the Kenning residence. Trudie and Rosie are out at the mo, but if you’d like to leave a message— you know what to do!” I swallow painfully. Aunt Sarah’s been on at me to change it— and I know I should— but I just can’t bring myself to erase her voice. She sounds so happy. So alive. The caller clears his throat uncertainly. A familiar trait, no matter how much time’s passed. My eyes flick to the phone. “Um, hi— Rosie? It’s Andy. It’s uh, it’s been a while, huh?” Awkward pause. “Listen, I’m— I’m sorry about your mum, it must be . . .” Another pause. “Shit. Look, I’d really like to see you— call me, okay? No pressure. Just as friends. Okay? You know I’m always here if . . . You know where I am. Bye.” Wow. Andy. He’s right, it has been a long time. “You should call him, you know.” I twist to see Aunt Sarah in the doorway. Is it that time already? Sarah works long hours at the local hospital, but that hasn’t stopped her checking up on me whenever she can— to make sure I haven’t slit my wrists or burned the house down or anything. I shrug. “Maybe.” No, I think. No, no, no. “And why not?” She leans accusatorially in the doorway. “I didn’t say no, I said maybe,” I protest. “Same thing,” she replies. “I know you.” It’s true, she does. She’s known me my whole life— literally. I was my mother’s last hope for a child, at the age of forty- two— the miracle baby— and Sarah was the midwife who delivered me that night. The night my father never came back. She’s not really my aunt, or even a relative at all, but she’s Mum’s best friend and our next- door neighbor, and she’s been there at every major event of our lives. Our guardian angel— younger than Mum, but older and wiser than me. A fact I’m never allowed to forget. “Seriously, Rosie, you should go out, see people— enjoy the snow! God knows it won’t last long!” “I’m fine,” I tell her. “I know you are, sweetie . . . but it would be good for you, you know?” I hate it when people tell me what’s good for me— Have a nice cup of tea, it’ll make you feel better. Go on, Rosie, have a good cry, it’s good for you. Yeah, coz that’ll bring my mother back.

Editorial Reviews

“This is a really powerful book with one of the most amazing twists I’ve ever come across. It’s one of those books that tugs at all the heartstrings one moment, then has you grinning happily the next. Katie Dale is an author to look out for.” —The Guardian (UK) “It reads the way a haunted house might, with the unexpected lurking behind every door. . . . [Readers will] be hard pressed to let Rosie out of their sight until the last page is turned.” —Kirkus Reviews “Readers should be drawn into the fast-paced, high-stakes narrative.” —Publishers Weekly “What starts out as a simple trip snowballs into a journey of discovery … Dale constructs an intriguing story about how families come in many forms and [how] love can be found in unexpected places. This book is sure to resonate with teens, especially those who live in nontraditional homes.”—School Library Journal