Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Kate's Reading Challenge 2011: Book Four

4. "True Things About Me" by Deborah Kay Davies (Canongate, 2010)

I can't honestly say that I enjoyed reading this book, but then I think you'd have to be a pretty strange person to enjoy a sickeningly up-close and personal account of an abusive relationship and consequentially a mental breakdown!

This novel is told from the perspective of its unnamed protagonist, a girl who in terms of background information we are told very little about. In the opening pages she meets an ex-con fresh out of prison and impulsively goes to a car park and has sex with him. In doing so she opens up her whole life to this man whom she knows nothing about (he too remains unnamed throughout and we don't find out much information about him either)! The result is a dark spiral in the mindset of a woman who has put her family, her job and her home in the hands of a terrifying stranger.

This is a very disturbing novel but the writing is compelling and the manner in which the author withholds any tangible information about so many of her characters is really effective in making the protagonist's decline seem particularly disorientating. I wouldn't read it at bed-time but if you don't mind a fair bit of trauma then check it out!

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