Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: A Little Stranger

By Sandy Amazeen Apr 28, 2008, 6:06 GMT

Book Review: A Little Stranger

"A witty, charming and highly readable novel, laced with an exploration of those primal fears that stubbornly remain taboo among mothers."-The Independent"A beautifully written, well-crafted page-turning novel."-Glasgow Evening Times"An astonishingly powerful author who deserves the widest readership. . . . Literary excellence and finesse combined with a very accessible look at life."-Sunday ExpressFran has been happily married to Nick for twelve years, until a "little stranger" arrives in the form ...more

Fran and Nick have been happily married for over twelve years, they weren’t rich by any means but were getting along just fine. Nick managed a trendy London restaurant and Fran enjoyed her job selling trendy clothes at Celine’s shop. All that changed dramatically with the birth of their son Louis. Although Louis was a sweet natured baby, Fran is becoming increasingly irritated by him and the inevitable pushcart she must use to wheel him around in. Her attempts at confiding in Nick something of her frustration at being forever home, trapped with a baby, never getting a moment for herself fall upon deaf ears. Nick simply doesn’t want to hear about it, their meager finances will not allow for childcare or a sitter so Fran will have to just deal with what they have. Things come to a head one day when Fran simply walks out the door and disappears, leaving Nick to cope with the demands of caring for a young child and running the restaurant. It becomes a journey of discovery for them both as Fran comes to terms with long buried family issues and Nick reevaluates his priorities.

An excellent piece of storytelling that brings to light many of the problems associated with cash strapped parenthood including feelings of entrapment and resentment. Pullinger explores abandonment issues, mother-child bonds and alcoholism with unusual clarity and finesse while crafting a fine, edgy read told from several different perspectives.

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