Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Brilliantly different dystopian tale
on 7 April 2014
Womack's story of a near future world on the brink of disaster is cleverly told through the pages of a 12 year old school girl's diary. Covering just a few months Lola tells of the changes she experiences in her home town Manhattan, having to move from her comfortable middle class suburban apartment to a rough part of the city and being shunned by her classmates for her assumed lesbian proclivity Lola is the only one of her family who does what she needs to do to survive - she adapts. Her younger sister, whom we know used to be close to her sister, becomes more and more unable to cope fearing not only the changing world outside but also her own sister. Lola's x-hippie style parents; a kind and loving but self-medicating mother and a father who now has to work long hours at a local bookstore for a merciless tyrant, have, we are told, not been good with money and it is hinted they may be partially to blame for the denuded circumstances that the Hart family find themselves in. The apparent acceptance and weakness of the other family members serves to enhance Lola's strength, as she makes new friends within the rough 'street' neighbourhood and learns that things are not going to go back to how they are anytime soon. The use of the diary form enables us to view the action in the past tense but also gives us access to Lola's true feelings and fears and reminds us that she is a 12 year old girl, something which it is easy to forget as you hear how she spends her days with little parental supervision and often in situations where her safety is threatened as the society around her descends into chaos and anarchy.
The changes in Lola's character as her survival instincts take over and she sets to right some of the wrongs done to her are reinforced by the degeneration of the language she uses but Womack does this deftly and you don't find yourself struggling to much with the recurring phrases and abbreviated sentence constructions. I particularly liked the use of people going 'post office' which she later explains is a bit like when someone working in a post office goes crazy and kills everyone! There are many other gems to look out for. Definitely a good choice for a book club read.