A book for young adults, full of hilarity and heartache
Betsy’s life is officially over: Dumped by her boyfriend, betrayed by her best friend… How is she ever going to show her face again?
Determined to avoid everyone and everything from her previous life, Betsy stumbles into an unusual café and an even more unusual girl. Dolores Morrisa mouthy, green-haired outsider Betsy can’t quite remember from schooltalks her into starting a cleaning service. Before she knows it, Betsy is down on her knees, dressed like a dust bunny, scrubbing strangers’ toilets.
It’s a long way for the most popular girl in school to have fallen. But Betsy finds comfort in the wine bottles and prescriptions and other dirty secrets she finds hidden in her clients’ homes. She also finds love with a client’s son, friendship with Dolores and a liberated sense of herself. Her new life soon falls apart, though, when valuables begin to go missing from some of the homes she and Dolores have been cleaning. Betsy discovers the hard way that not all dirty secrets can just be swept under the rug.
Nominated for the 2012 Snow Willow Award
Nominated for the 2012 Ann Connor Brimer Award
“Grant has a master’s touch at capturing the teen years, both their hilarity and heartache, and you’ll find yourself cheering for Betsy on her unusual journey of healing and self-discovery.”
The Chronicle Herald
“Kudos to Canadian Vicki Grant for writing a truly hilarious book that’ll make you smile while defying all the tropes that often define this genre. The Betsy Wickwire in question is your prototypical beautiful popular girl who’s sent on a downward shame spiral – complete with working as a house cleaner in a horrible ‘dust bunny’ uniform – losing all of the things said popular gals value most: friends, love, and her coveted social standing. That is, until she meets quirky, larger-than-life outsider Dolores Morris, who befriends Betsy when she needs it most – and teaches her a thing or two about what’s really important at this young age. For real, everywhere I’ve looked and everyone I’ve talked to has had nothing but positive things to say about this genuinely funny, uncanny book that manages to make a rather simple concept feel fresh and fun“
Canadian Gift Guide
“This book is a sensitive exploration of one teen’s maturation but first and foremost, it is a highly entertaining read that should speak to a wide range of readers.”
Atlantic Books Today
“(VICKI GRANT) is a funny writer who knows the recipe to writing a good book: she writes a serious book blended with just the right number of laugh-out-loud situations.
“Vicki Grant’s characters jump off the page. She shows an uncanny understanding of young people’s worries and emotions, the depression they often face, the self-esteem that frequently eludes them, and the acceptance they need most. This is a novel at once humorous, captivating and realistic. A multi-layered novel, a striking read.”
Canadian Children’s Book News
“Betsy Wickwire’s Dirty Secret deserves to be on award lists. Not Suitable (for Family Viewing) is a hard act to follow but Grant proves up to it with this totally fresh take on the pain of romance and the courage it takes to grow into your own person…With its powerful mix of hilarity, drop-dead-clever writing and utter empathy for her characters, look for Vicki Grant to appear on award lists again this year.”
The Chronicle Herald
“Vicki Grant has authored another wonderful young adult novel with lots of humour, interesting characters and twists and surprises in the plot…Betsy’s life has totally changed by the end of the novel, and so has her attitude. She has become a warmer and more accepting person. The transition isn’t easy, and Grant puts her main character through a variety of tests and learning experiences in the book. However, Grant does so with humour, compassion and empathy for the teenage world she has created. No doubt Betsy Wickwire’s Dirty Secret will join Grant’s other young adult novels on a variety of Canadian young adult literary award lists. Highly Recommended.”