Bella's grotesque guardians abuse her and sabotage her gymnastics. Officaldom overlooks abuse and Bella gets a nursing home job. There is more bizarre behaviour and bullying and Bella tries for the British team. She is kidnapped by her ghastly aunt and uncle and literally chained to the floor. Then there is an injury and people flip from allies to enemies from page to page.
Bella's fellow gymnasts protest her presence and are fire hosed. Bella's coaches bully her and ignore her. Someone gets Asiatic flu – WTF? Bella is abandoned in a foregign country by the British team. Seriously? Bella is ditched with no money and nowhere to live in Poland in 1975?!?!
One is incensed at the casual child abuse and series of disputes. Bella is subjected to unrelenting cruetly. There is vulgarism and many soul tearing dilemnias for Bella. She spends much time wishing it were otherwise. I fail to see how this was so enduringly popular. The abuse is an almost unbearable burden for Bella. She craves approval and people have inflexibility and she's not a priority for anybody.
Bella has a passport? Bella knew Russian? Bella has to steal and suffers from food poverty in Poland. She's still on the team but nobody believes in her and she suffers an injury. This leads into Book Two which shows no sign of being published. The media 'forgive' Bella and only one person apologises. The annual story sees Bella back with her relatives (when is it set?) and park keeepers chase her. This was okay.
“'Let them boo – I'm great.' says Bella Barlow.”
“Someone they calls a ghost writer did all the rest.”
“Somehow I'll make them believe me.”
“Do that, and you'll never do gymnastics again – I'll jump on yer hands!”
“Listen to her lying-”
“He needn't have altered his tone when he came to me.”
“It will be an evil day if we ever have to use her in the team.”
“She just goes on behavin' bad.”
“The disgrace wot she's brought upon us.”
“Continues her unrepentant career.”
“Made it plain she is unforgiven...”
“Put the welfare lot on us.”
“Showin' orf down there.”
“If she does get into the team, it'll be against all common decency.”
“You are being typically awkward, Bella.”
“Made to feel more unwanted than ever-”
“Belt me for spite.”
“She got me slung out of Russia.”
“We're all thoroughly disgusted.”
“They've got an even worse opinion of me now!”
“The climax to everything I've fought for.”
“This is more like Colditz than a window-cleaning job.”