Friday, 15 May 2009

The Cut of Love by Helena Close

Hachette Books Ireland

No way!
Way. I thought the same before I started reading: “Eww, misery lit about a girl who self-harms” - and I was wrong. This is superb.
But I thought -
Yeah, I was going to tell you about Lee Child’s new Jack Reacher book, Gone Tomorrow. It’s great, full of blood and guts, especially guts. And Kazuo Ishiguro’s Nocturnes is delicate and gloomy and brilliant. And Claire Kilroy’s All Names Have Been Changed is darkly hilarious -
All right, I get the idea
I didn’t want to read this, but I got a tipoff, tried a couple of pages, and couldn’t stop reading.
Well, go on?
Two families in Limerick -
Stoppit. Twelve-year-old Leah’s brother is dead, and the family is coming to pieces in grief. And her best friend Jane’s separated parents are fighting all the time, and Jane is secretly cutting her arms.
Sounds cheery
Sounds dreadful. But you really like these people as you get to know them. And the tension has the torque of - whatever has a lot of torque. Alison, Leah’s mother, secretly watches her dead son’s Bebo page. And she’s going out and following two people.
These people are cracked
Cracking up, anyway. But it’s kind of funny and awful too. Jane’s father - too handsome to live - joins the kids’ karate class, to Jane’s mortification. He’s flirting with Leah’s mother, while giving Jane’s mother dog’s abuse. Every page you turn has something new to pull you in.
It sounds… real
It’s one of those books where you’re sorry it ends because you want to keep knowing the people in it.
Happy ending, then?
Oh, the ending is devastating. But you have to read it. This is powerful stuff - I’m just going to look out everything else Helena Close has written.
Which is?
This is her sixth book - four co-written with her best friend, using the pen name Sarah O’Brien. But she’s really hit the spot with this one. Buy it. Now.
Author's agent's website


Anonymous said...

Good review of a simply brillisnt book! Reminds me of 'We Need to Talk About Kevin'. Check out 'Pinhead Duffy' her first novel. Different, but equally brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Amazing read. Can't recommend it enough