Kathy Stinson's young adult novel,one year commencing, is set in downtown Toronto, where the main character, Al, faces a terrible choice. Every summer she leaves her home in Alberta to spend a month with her father in the East, but this year she must spend a whole year with him, and after that she must decide where her permanent home will be. This is not her father's choice, or her mother's; a court order, made years before, puts the whole responsibility on her. Based on a real-life situation, and dedicated to the young woman involved, one year commencing is a passionate, often funny story, which never makes Al's dilemma seem simpler than it is. It is both a novel and a document for our times.