Saturday, 24 April 2010

"Black Rock" by Amanda Smyth

Amanda Smyth tells a compelling story very well in Black Rock, in what will inevitably be pigeon-holed in publisherspeak as "a coming of age novel", but is actually much more than that. In reading it I was reminded both of Okri and Naipaul.

The tale is told through the eyes of Celia, a central character who is well crafted and fully credible. As well as a study of childhood and the death of illusions it also portrays, in a delicately under-stated way, the inifinite complexity of human relationships. Anyone who enjoyed the film Nelly et Monsieur Arnaud will find all sorts of echoes of it in this book. I predict a great future for this book (apparently the film rights have already been sold) and for its author.

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