Top positive review
A lot more grown up than much of the juvenile nonsense that passes for adult fiction these days
on 14 November 2015
Although a Puffin book because it is marketed as teenage fiction, Dear Nobody is a lot more grown up than much of the juvenile nonsense that passes for adult fiction these days. The only reason I can see that it is pigeon-holed as a teenage fiction is that the two main characters are 18-year-olds — nothing else. The story is beautifully told, the characters well-rounded, and their emotional life made real. It tells of family, inheritance, and growing up. There is an attention to detail in the story-telling that places you there as a reader: like the description of the grandfather’s bonfire and the toad, followed by the imagery of the bits of privet that her grandfather tidies up, looking like a bridal bouquet.
I love the way the novel has aged — taking you back to a time when teenagers had to conduct romances in whispered voices from telephones in the hall or from public phone boxes. None of you’re Skyping and instant-messaging back then.
I thought there was a bit of a missed opportunity to really tied the book to Sheffield — particularly in the character of the grandfather who only lets slip and occasional “ay” and “reckon” and a single “nowt”. It is a shame, but perhaps it is not regarded as doing a book many favours in its marketability to tie it too closely to a region.
One small annoyance was the creeping in of errors in the Kindle version: probably errors of setting up the e-book file and not checking it properly. Not what you expect from Penguin.
1 of 34 Sheffield novels reviewed at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/sheffield-novels.html