The extraordinary first novel from the author of THE OTHER HAND
'I couldn't put it down' Observer
'Stunning... a haunting work of art.' Newsweek
You aren't stupid. You know there's no such thing as a perfect mother. Plenty of other books will tell you there is, but this one won't lie to you. I was weak and I cheated and I was punished, but my god I loved my child through all of it. Love means you never break, and it means you're stronger than the things they do to you. I know this is true because I have been through fire, and I am the proof that love survives. I am not a perfect mother but I will tell you the perfect truth, because this is you and me talking. This is my story.
'Stunning' New York Times
'Dark, tense and undeniably provocative' Metro
An al-Qaeda bomb attack on a London soccer match provides the tragicomic donn e of former Daily Telegraph journalist Cleave's impressive multilayered debut: a novel-length letter from an enraged mother to Osama bin Laden. Living hand to mouth in London's East End, the unnamed mother's life is shattered when her policeman husband (part of a bomb disposal unit) and four-year-old son are killed in the stadium stands. Complicating matters: our narrator witnesses the event on TV, while in the throes of passion with her lover, journalist Jasper Black. The full story of that day comes out piecemeal, among rants and ruminations, complete with the widow's shell-shocked sifting of the stadium's human carnage. London goes on high terror alert; the narrator downs Valium and gin and clutches her son's stuffed rabbit. After a suicide attempt, she finds solace with married police superintendent Terrence Butcher and in volunteer work. When the bomb scares escalate, actions by Jasper and his girlfriend Petra become the widow's undoing. The whole is nicely done, as the protagonist's headlong sentences mimic intelligent illiteracy with accuracy, and her despairingly acidic responses to events and media versions of them ring true. But the working-class London slang permeates the book to a distracting degree.
Absolute page turner
What an absolute page turner! The movie didn't do this book justice. Couldn't put it down. I was hooked!
An amazing story I had trouble putting it down