Most of One Last Secret by Adele Parks unfolds in second person… our narrator Dora talking to us. The readers. Occasionally Parks slips out of the ‘explanatory’ style of prose she kicks off with, into more first person musings, but as a fan of second person narration I liked the intimacy it offers. It’s particularly important here as Dora is an escort and conscious ‘we’ may judge her for that. She doesn’t apologise or even explain her choice of career, rather asks that we accept that without judgement or pity. And it’s easy to do as Dora is likeable and goes about her business as just that… her business. Her job.
Book review: The Other Side of Beautiful by Kim Lock
The Other Side of Beautiful by Kim Lock was a delightful surprise. I particularly liked its lead, Mercy Blain. She’s in her mid thirties and well-established in her life and career, so relatable for me.
I’m loving the current trend of ‘normalising’ characters with quirks, phobias or mental health issues. Once upon a time it felt like they (we) were portrayed as victims or case-studies. Now their (our) idiosyncrasies and issues are merely part of who they (we) are. I commented in my recent review of Love Objects that I appreciated that the author, Emily Maguire, didn’t feel the need to rid her lead character of some of her obsessive (yet comforting-to-her) tendencies.
Here Mercy has become an agoraphobic – the result of a trifecta of things going badly in her life two years earlier. She’s barely left her house since but forced to do so when it burns down.