Anne Fine peers into the minds of young adolescent girls in her latest novel, Charm School (Doubleday, pound;10.99). If Bonny's mother is to go on the course she needs, Bonny must be kept busy on her own course at Mrs Opalene's charm school. Bonny, a truculent scruff, immediately clashes with girls bordering on hysteria and anorexia, for whom their appearance is the only concern.
This comedy has all of Fine's usual pace and verve as Bonny decides to rescue the girls from their neurosis. The book is a light-touch treatment of the persistently thorny issue of young women's attitude to food.