This book arrived at my door, on it's way to a bookshelf I maintain for a charity. I wasn't sure whether it was my sort of thing, and idly read through a few pages. Then a few more, and then I was hooked.
The main character is a mixed-up and rather naive young woman (worthy of Anita Brookner and Anne Tyler)and it is the desire to see if life ever turns out well for her that kept me going. We follow her as she tries to be like other girls of her age, but she finds it impossible to experience and enjoy life in the same way that they apparently do. One suspects that she is just too intelligent on one level and too unworldly on another, to ever really understand what makes the majority of young women 'tick'. Even her ability to interact with her mother and her brother on her rare visits home, seem doomed to failure.
The writing was good and the character of Agnes was well-drawn and I shall be looking out for more by this author. I am not surprised it won a Whitbread first Novel award when it first came out. Amazon, get them on Kindle!