Jane Rogers has written 8 novels including Mr Wroe's Virgins (which she dramatised as an award-winning BBC drama serial), Her Living Image (Somerset Maugham Award), and Promised Lands (Writers Guild Best Fiction Award). She also writes radio drama (most recently Dear Writer, BBC afternoon play), and adaptations (most recently The Custom of the Country, Classic serial, Jan 2010). She is Professor of Writing at Sheffield Hallam University and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. The film of her novel Island is due for release this summer. Her short story 'Hitting trees with sticks' was shortlisted in the 2009 National Short Story Award, and she is currently working on a short story collection. For reviews, interviews, and details of books please see www.janerogers.org
This book failed to move me, even though it's story is theoretically tragic. It's the story of a middle-class girl who meets a strange, a-social orphaned boy nicknamed Orph while working in a foster home. Some time later, when she is in university, Orph comes to live with her. Their different worlds clash and, inevitably, they each become a victim of sorts of the other's disillusioned notions of the other and the relationship that binds them. Ultimately, the story was not terribly convincing partly because the characters seemed more like character-types than actual people. The book had an agenda - that middle-class and lower-class don't easily mix - and the characters seemed to be at times ruthlessly constrained to fit this pre-conceived plan. The book lacked spontaneity and intuition, and, as result, any true insight into it's subject matter and characters.
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