When I first finished this book I wanted to collect my thoughts together as I felt that I had been left with a multitude of feelings about it and I was having trouble gathering them all together. I wrote down everything that came into my head and revisisted it few days later. Here is what I wrote:
disturbing, humorous, obsession, abuse, non-functioning, care, love, worry, friendship, concern, free-falling, depression, nervous breakdown.
I found this book to be a fast-paced page-turner about a very disturning subject. Although it was disturbing, it is injected with dashes of humour which is why I think it allows the reader to follow the protagonists free-fall into depression and obsession without it teetering on the edge of being too much. The way I interpreted the book was that how it was written meant that it was about the subject of breaking down and spiralling out of control itself, rather than about a paticular person. We don’t get to see too much of the narrators background (we only really know that she works in some sort of claims office and that her parents are middle class and tight-knit). It left me thinking that it could be me or it could be you.
The narrative starts at work in a benefits office where our narrator serves a good looking, tall, blonde man who has just been released from prison. He is waiting for her after work and within minutes he has her up against a wall in an underground carpark. From this point on: the no showing at work, the disgust felt, the tracking him down, the control he has over her is shocking in the sense that you become so concerned about how the hell she ended up in this state. Her friend Alison and her parents are at a loss of what to do to help her and as a reader you are looking to these charaters to bring the protagonist to her senses.
I have thought a lot about this book since reading it (I like it when a book has the power to make you think and deliberate). I can’t say that I liked the subject matter in terms of the book being about abuse and control and depression etc but it is very powreful and very well written and I have to say that I did enjoy reading it. The humour certainly helps lighten the tone and without this it would have been a very different book.