When climate activist Greta Thunberg was eleven, her parents Malena and Svante, and her little sister Beata, were facing a crisis in their own home. Greta had stopped eating and speaking, and her mother and father had reconfigured their lives to care for her. Desperate and searching for answers, her parents discovered what was at the heart of Greta’s distress: her imperiled future on a rapidly heating planet.
...an urgent, lucid, courageous account ... behind the book’s matter-of-fact prose, Greta’s parents emerge as involuntary superheroes and recipients of no awards but hard-won wisdom ... the book is a highly readable sequence of shortish 'scenes' written in the direct language Greta uses in her speeches. The life-vest of humour inflates more often than you’d expect, and the text is studded with subversive, persuasive maxims ... I wrote down several pages of quotations for this review until it got ridiculous: I was copying out half the book ... Piety – these days rebranded as virtue signalling – is notable in the book by its absence ... everyone with an interest in the future of the planet should read this book. It is a clear-headed diagnosis. It is a glimpse of a saner world. It is fertile with hope.
...an unflinching look at both [Greta's] family cosmos and the civilisation that it is embedded within ... Melana has written what is a polemical, a manifesto, smuggled in under the cloak of a celebrity memoir. It is cunning and clever. We are ushered along with tidbits of what we want, we are given full-frontal views through their living-room window. But there is always a level of irony to this. We look between the curtains clutching peanuts and they, mid act, meet us with a sardonic stare. It is a confrontation: we see you looking, while you carry on as normal, and retweet our daughters’ posts ... We are left reminded, the future is ours to choose. It’s time for us to take our place on the stage, then. It’s time for us to come out from behind the curtains, dust the peanut skin off our hands.
It's...like a new form of nonfiction, intimate and approachable as a photo album: a family memoir ... A language of music and stagecraft pervades the whole book, which unfolds in a series of 'Scenes'—pithy episodes from the life of the family, dense with metaphors of song ... The account of Malena and Svante’s struggle to find help and to feed [Greta], one tiny mouthful of rice or avocado at a time, is acutely painful to read ... Malena writes with crisp authority ... this is also a remarkable story of togetherness: a modern family shifting and pivoting to keep each person afloat ... Grown-ups should read this book.