True Things About Me by Deborah Kay Davies
I didn’t like this book, but I did find it unputdownable! It’s the story of a bad relationship seen through a young woman’s eyes.
A man recently released from prison sits down at the desk of a young woman, a bored worker in a claimant’s office. She is seduced by his swagger and attitude, and later lets herself get picked up, submitting readily to a bout of dangerous sex in a car park. Over the next weeks and months, she wants more, and she gets it – but at a cost. Apart from steadily alienating her friends, parents, boss and co-workers, she deludes herself that it’s the real thing, sacrificing more and more of her life in what will become abusive relationship.
Alison’s not my friend any more, I said out loud to the echoey loo. It’s official, I now have no friends. Even my parents hate me. I watched my silly smile fade in the mirror. As I combed my hair I thought maybe it was all part of the scheme of things. I had to grow up sometime. No one really understood. They all thought they knew what was best for me. I had started a new chapter. I was living with a man, for holy Saint Ikea’s sake. I was moving on. I was cooking stuff in my kitchen at last. Someone was occupying the empty side of my double bed. I felt equal to it all. But round the back of my little heart I could hear a lonely breeze whistling away everything I cared about.
Told by the un-named young woman, we really get into her mind. Outwardly she has all the trappings of a comfortable middle-class life; she loves her Mum and Dad, has her own flat, spends too much on her credit-card, and is slightly envious of her best friend Alison who is already married with a family. But emotionally, she’s not matured beyond adolescence, still likes to get ‘trollied’ at the weekends, and is unable to realise the consequences she’s set in motion until it’s too late. As for him – well he had ‘user’ tattooed on his forehead, but she couldn’t see it – while we may start off thinking silly cow, we do end up pitying her for her poor choices.
Written in short and punchy sentences in the first person, there is a good momentum, and the author has really given her protagonist a voice. While the plot may be slightly predictable, the way it is told made this novel an excellent read – we are emotionally manipulated all the way to the climax. A young author to look out for methinks. While I didn’t like this book, I did read it in one unputdownable session. (7.5/10)
Pub July 1 by Canongate, 214 pages. I won this copy via a Librarything Earlybird Reviewers giveaway.