Gemma Williams's Reviews > Love Is Strange

Love Is Strange by Joseph Connolly
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Nov 05, 2008

it was ok

Hmm...quite a nasty book, all in all. It begins in the most florid and overwritten style possible, and just when you think it will be totally unreadable it shifts into a much more entertaining mode, shifting between point of view of the four main characters - 8yr old Clifford, troubled teenage Annette, downtrodden housewife and mother Gillian and her horrible pompous husband (whose name I've already forgotten). initially this works very well, the story is touching and bleak, conveying Clifford's child's eye point of view with real perception and accuracy. But then it all becomes ridiculous again - melodramatic misery memoir style and finally just farcical with the most unlikely and forced character shifts. The male characters are all monsters but portrayed with sympathy. The female characters are either monsters or idiots, portrayed in either case with contempt. The story line seems to me to make insincere, cynical and superficial use of the themes of incest, child abuse, rape and forced prostitution in a thoroughly distasteful way. Despite the flashes of talent early on, the whole thing leaves a nasty taste. It is also much too long. Not recommended.
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