Rich, idiosyncratic dialogue from the haphazard perspective of a girl on the cusp of womanhood - Ophelia Bitz
As with an Impressionist painting, where the image appears from the dots, the story of Esmeralda emerges from the chaos of the writing, revealing a twenty-first century woman trying to make sense of a world gone mad.
Esmeralda is no girlie girl. She’s a mean, not very lean, shagging machine. Her body is not a temple... It’s a skip.
How can we describe Esmeralda’s life? Imagine Moll Flanders met Mrs Dalloway and they decided to drop acid and dance all night at a party in a commune outside Norwich. That’d be a start.
Structurally, this novel challenges perceptions of time and memory. Mingling past and present, Esmeralda drifts downstream through a series of scenes peopled by a rambling, picaresque cast of characters. Some are fleeting ghosts never seen again while others retain significance throughout the stream of Esmeralda’s consciousness. Actually, “drifts” is the wrong word. A more appropriate nautical metaphor would be that Esmeralda crashes through life like a rudderless speedboat, leaving havoc in her turbulent wake. No situation is too strange, no drugs are off the menu, legal, illegal, or purely psychological.
This book is Fifty Shades for the Trainspotting generation, Fear of Flying for pill poppers or Bridget Jones for those who are so off their faces they can’t remember what happened yesterday.
In this, her first novel, Jolie Booth has given voice to a new strong woman - Esmeralda, who with all her disasters, triumphs, certainties, resolutions and contradictions still manages to fascinate all around her and hold the whip in hand.
ON SALE READY FOR CHRISTMAS 2016