Some of Raphaelle’s behaviour is simply for the sake of being contrary, true. She is at that age. But there is a political side to the decisions that she makes.
Her actions are rooted in questions about identity, specifically her feminine identity and what roles she (and other girls and women) inhabit in society. And, in that process, she reinvents herself as Ella.
In many ways, her audacity is not just an act of self-insistence but an open declaration of war on convention.
In her own small corner of the world, Raphaelle acts as the revolutionary.
Gabrielle Prendergast’s language is unsentimental, and the everyday details in the verses balance the heavily emotional content. (The novel-in-verse does seem particularly appropriate for this age group.)
Sometimes the mood is relayed as much by the shape and layout of the poems as by the words themselves.
One of the most satisfying elements of the work, however, is the resolution. Or, more accurately, the lack of tidy resolution.
Raphaelle/Ella does not age substantially in the course of the novel and despite all the learning experiences she has in the story, by the end of it, she has even more questions than she had at the beginnings (or, at least, readers are more consciously aware of all the questions with which she is grappling).
So it feels realistic to have the questioning process continue at the end of <i>Audacious</i>, even while the heroine is still moving forward.
More talk of this novel <a href="http://www.buriedinprint.com/?p=12141">here, at Buried.In.Print.</a>