This is a disturbing short novel. The obsession a very young girl has with her errant and absent father, and her unhappiness much later when an intelligent teenager living in a dysfunctional family, make her determined to track him down. Without any idea of who she might be, and perhaps a with a touch of self-deception, he allows this now very attractive youngster to seduce him into a relationship of a more intimate nature than would normally be expected between and older man and a schoolgirl.
The story set in the early 1970's in the general area of Clapham at first and extending to Chelsea. Told in the first person, the story is tightly written. Heroine Susanna has a gift for description of both people and places and an eye for the failings of others. This created a bit of ambivalence in this reader, as such clarity of vision is not an appealing trait. She is also manipulative and not particularly truthful. But her story if believable and in the context of fiction I assume we are expected to accept it as "true". I note that on the back cover it is described as "a fever dream that examines our need to be loved and accepted and a piercing portrait of madness." I shall leave the clever literary analysts to debate that point.
So it is very much to the author's credit, as well as being necessary to maintaining an interest, that the reader can care about the heroine, even while being relieved that the chance of meeting anyone like her is nil!
I enjoyed the little details of the times. Does anyone else remember kunzle cakes? The cover appears to suggest that the book will appeal primarily to young female readers. Not being in either category I can only guess! It is certainly worth reading, uncompromising, and pessimistic to the end.