My return to the real world of post-Booker reading sees me completely engrossed a la Nick Hornby "lamp post" style in Little Face by Sophie Hannah. Sophie is the daughter of Adele Geras, a regular visitor here (hope she doesn't mind me blowing her cover) and they must all be bursting with pride.
It's been a great mother-daughter week in the literary world with Anita and Kiran Desai, we could do with more of these moments,let's hope for another one soon.
So, on the reading front, if you fancy a bit of gripping psychological thriller fare look no further than Little Face.
I always enjoy some well-written, non-linear narrative too and Sophie Hannah is a master of it, beautifully controlled, so we're well ahead of ourselves with the some of the plot and then intriguing back story cleverly filled in and not a jot of confusion.
Alice sets off on her first guilt-laden excursion, sans baby Florence, in those exhausting days post-caesarian section.
Husband David is left in charge for two hours and when Alice returns the nightmare begins.She walks into the nursery and insists that the baby in the cot is not Florence. Worryingly,David's first wife has been murdered, so as well as the legacy of Laura to contend with there is also Vivienne, the controlling mother-in-law from hell.
Incidentally,I'm always amazed at the idea that after major abdominal surgery, when most people need a jolly good rest, women are expected to be up and caring for a baby.Alice is naughtily driving a car 2 weeks post-caesarian, don't try that at home I think your car insurance might be invalid, but as you will see Alice is not really in charge.
Poor Alice has her hands very full with this crowd and,as she gradually appears to be slowly disempowered by those around her, we have to say thank heavens again for detectives called Simon. This one's a very different kettle of fish to our beloved DCI Serrailler.
As events unfolded I couldn't help but be reminded of that mood of helplessness that permeates The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman; that astonishing delineation of the nameless woman with post-natal depression in the late 1800's helpfully treated as the madwoman in the attic by her husband.
Sophie Hannah describes David's increasingly chilling behaviour towards Alice exceptionally well.Don't for one minute think it may seem far fetched, I know of plenty of women this has happened to, it's real and very frightening and they are often completely paralysed by the powerlessness of their situation.
Thanks to Little Face I'm feeling my post Booker reading planets safely realigning back to a healthy balance, a little bit of everything does you good.