Top positive review
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A witty, intelligent, thrilling literary autobiography
on 3 January 2014
Debut author Samantha Ellis tells the story of her coming of age and the construction of selfhood through the books she has read. The result is a marvellously fresh, original and gripping book, funny and intelligent, charming and self-deprecating and, ultimately, moving. It is a kind of feminist manifesto seen through the lenses of a girl's reading material. The self is a constantly shifting, changing, dynamic thing and Ellis is perfectly attuned to this, so her interpretations of her favourite books and their heroines change over time too. And the gallery of books featuring these female protagonists is wide and all-embracing -- Wuthering Heights sits beside Lace, Gone With The Wind with The Bell Jar. The thread that binds everything is Ellis's own life, as a girl growing up in the UK as part of the Iraqi Jewish community. This book is that very rare thing -- a wonderfully entertaining read that is also scintillatingly intelligent. It will also make you revisit the classics that mark your own reading life.