Petra, the heroine of Allison Pearson's unassuming second novel, is a painfully thin 13-year-old with an all-consuming passion for David Cassidy.
She may not be named after the Blue Peter dog, but this doesn't stop her South Wales classmates barking at her during register.
Taking refuge in the The Essential David Cassidy Magazine, Petra and best friend Sharon enter a competition to meet the perpetually smiling David at his Californian home. However, thanks to parental intervention, it's not until 24 years later that Petra finally gets to claim her prize.
Moving between Petra's Seventies schooldays and middle-age, Pearson's nostalgic narrative cleverly marries the pangs of adolescence to mid-life regret. A pitch-perfect portrait of the teenage self.Reuse content