Sweet Valley High #43: Hard Choices

The moral of the story: If your grandmother is being difficult, telling her you hate her will make her see how awful she’s been and she’ll move back home.

The Big Deal: Documentary premiere at the Wakefields’ house


Enid’s grandfather has just died and her Nana is going to be moving in with Enid and her mother, Adele. Ugh, an Enid story. Boring. Nana will be moving into Enid’s bedroom, so Enid is moving up to the attic, which will be nice when her mother has the money to spruce it up a bit. Enid is happy to do anything for her grandmother, but when Nana gets there she’s all old and frail and not like Enid remembers her. Nana is pretty annoying and does that old lady thing where she tells you she doesn’t want to be a burden when she really just wants to be a burden.

Susan Stewart’s father, Jackson Croft the movie director, is sponsoring a showcase for student documentaries. Liz decides to make a video and enter it. She’s going to borrow Lila’s video camera, Jeffrey will shoot it, Jessica will narrate it and Enid will basically be Liz’s assistant. The documentary will be about how awesome Sweet Valley is. Gag me.

Enid’s mother invites her boyfriend Richard over for dinner to meet Nana. Nana makes it a point to let him know she doesn’t like him. She tells Enid she doesn’t like the way Richard bosses Mrs. Rollins around (Adele asked him what he wanted to drink and he answered her) and thinks he asks too many personal questions (he asked Nana about her flight). Enid, impressionable young thing she is, starts thinking maybe she doesn’t like Richard either. The next day, Enid goes out with her boyfriend Hugh. He goes to Big Mesa and the only time they have together is the weekends. It’s been putting a strain on their relationship. They have a terrific afternoon together, but when Enid gets home she sees Nana standing at the living room window with a disapproving look on her face.

The documentary gang gets together at Enid’s house to talk about the film. Nana sits in on their meeting and interrupts to ask Enid to get her tea and stuff. When Enid gets home from filming later that night, Nana says she doesn’t think Enid should be hanging out with Liz because she seems bossy. Ha ha. Then Nana tells Adele she doesn’t like Hugh, and suddenly Adele tells Enid she can’t go on a camping trip she’s been planning with him. Damn that Nana. That weekend, Enid doesn’t show up at the beach where the rest of the gang is filming. Liz is terribly worried about Enid and thinks her grandmother is making her life difficult, but Enid thinks it’s all her fault and she just has to try harder.

Richard has asked Adele to marry him. She hasn’t given him an answer yet because things are so confusing with “Mother” around. Enid and the gang go to the television station to interview Jeremy Frank, but they run into Richard first. He’s the program director there and he offers to let the kids use their video editing equipment when they’re ready. Enid is mad at him because she thinks he’s just offering so she’ll like him. Liz is all, “So?” and Enid  changes the subject.

Nana gets Enid to break plans with Liz so she can take her shopping. She insists on buying her own aspirin even though there’s already aspirin at the house. She says over and over that she doesn’t want to be a bother. Enid gets mad and starts thinking all kinds of thoughts about what a bother Nana’s being for someone who doesn’t want to be a bother. Then, of course, she bottles those feelings up and feels guilty for being a disloyal granddaughter. I fucking hate Sweet Valley girls and their “disloyal” thoughts.

Liz and Jeffrey go back to the television station to edit the documentary. After six hours, they have a finished product. When they go to leave, they overhear Richard arguing with Enid’s mom. Richard wants Adele to go to some dinner with him on Saturday night, but she’s reluctant to leave Enid home with Nana again. She finally relents and agrees to the dinner. When she gets home that night, Nana says there’s a movie she wants to see on Saturday night. Adele tells her she can’t take her and that Enid will be at the party Liz is having to show the documentary. Nana gets pissed and goes to bed. Enid wants to go after her, but Adele tells her Nana is just going to have to get used to not getting everything she wants all the time. Since both she and Enid will be out Saturday night, Adele arranges for a neighbor to stay with Nana.

When Saturday night rolls around, Nana is being difficult and says she doesn’t want some strange woman to stay with her. Adele calls the neighbor and tells her not to come, but then Nana says Adele will have to stay with her. Richard is outside honking his horn and Adele apologizes to Enid and tells her she’ll have to stay. Then Hugh shows up and gets pissed off when Enid says she can’t go to the party with him. He breaks up with her and Enid starts yelling at Nana and says it’s all her fault and she hates her. Nana just stalks off to her room, so Enid takes the car and leaves.

The documentary is a grand success, of course, and Enid leaves as soon as it’s over. She’s feeling guilty about telling Nana she hated her and is sure she made the old woman sick or something. When she gets home, she finds Nana making cookies. Nana apologizes for being so difficult and says she’s decided to move back to Chicago. Then Hugh comes over to apologize for being a jackass earlier. Everything is wonderful again!


Everywhere Elizabeth looked, she saw friends and familiar faces, and a warm glow of pride and happiness washed over her. It always struck her as special that although Sweet Valley was a bustling town, it somehow managed to feel small and friendly at the same time. She loved her hometown. Smiling fondly, she rested her chin in her hands and gazed off into space.

Yeah, yeah, Sweet Valley is heaven on earth. Blah.

The Cover: Oh, Enid. You really need to invest in a hair straightener and some new clothes. You poor thing.


  • Sadako May 14, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Now I know where Ann M. Martin got her inspiration for old people. They’re always moving in and being a bother (Aunt Cecilia, Uncle Joe) or incompetent (Mrs. Towne). Okay, okay, sometimes they rock–Mimi!

    I agree, though. I didn’t even read that many SVH books and I still think Liz is uber bossy.


  • Sadako May 14, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    I think Morbidda Destiny is kind of awesome, too. (The fact that Karen hates her makes her even cooler.)


  • Mara May 14, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    I really like Enid’s X-ray technician smock. My dentist has the same one.

    This is probably the most boring plotline the writer could have come up with. People don’t really care for Enid, so let’s bring in her boring grandmother to spice things up!


  • nugirl77 May 16, 2009 at 4:46 am

    Do you know, I’ve been looking over the SVH covers and in every single one of them Enid somehow manages to look unhappy and/or mean (#29 Bitter Rivals and this one) – that is, when she’s not looking ill (#20 Crash Landing!) … and she’s supposed to be warm, empathetic and caring? Liz (temporarily insane in #7 Dear Sister) once quoted Jess as saying you need No Doze just to hang around people like Enid, but you wouldn’t think Enid’s boring from the cover art since she looks like she’s always in some kind of heavy drama. 😉


  • Jan aka Girl Talk Read May 18, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Hey what’s wrong with curly hair? Granted Enid’s doesn’t look that great 😉


  • girltalkread June 3, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Too bad Enid didn’t know about Naturally Curly.com or Biolage hair gel- I am tellin ya I have the curliest hair ever and Biolage is a godsend!! Shannon did you see the link to my blog?? tonight I recapped a Sweet Valley Kids book!! And I agree that Morbidda Destiny kicks ass!


  • Vivian July 21, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Enid has hair just like John McClane’s wife in “Die Hard.” So deliciously stereotypically ’80’s!


  • Karla January 12, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I fucking hate Sweet Valley girls and their “disloyal” thoughts.

    Bravo, Shannon! What a great message to send to impressionable teenage girls – a relative is being a total douche and it’s not okay to be angry with her because she’s related to you. Hate.


    Shannon Reply:

    Thank you! I seriously hate it when they get that way. Ugh.


  • Darren August 23, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Shannon, you forgot to say what is the prelude to chapter 44 in Pretenses with Abbie Richardson.


  • Twisted Sister October 5, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Eww. A book about the Drip and her drippy Grandma


  • Krista December 11, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    “Enid has hair just like John McClane’s wife in “Die Hard.” So deliciously stereotypically ’80?s! ”

    I actually thought that too.

    Enid actually looks kind of pretty on that cover, saving the hair (which was fashionable at the time, so I’ll let it slide).


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