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We need to talk about Pearl
on 8 May 2014
Pearl being the name of the main protagonist. Pearl is a combination of Damien from the Omen and Lolita and has what you would call an electra complex - being in competition with her mother for the attentions of her father. So far, so disturbed. Now, I realise as a grown woman, the trials and tribulations of girlhood are now far behind me but this sgtory is in no way describing an average girlhood. I don't know many little girls who would jump off a tree in the full knowledge and willingness to break their leg. Parade around in a bikini for their father and push their mother into oncoming traffic. This is beyond any "acting up" by a child I've ever heard of.
Most disappointingly however, is that the woods themselves feature only fleetingly. Sure, we know Pearl goes down there now and then but the book largely revolves around her increasingly disturbing behaviour at home and with friends. I just didn't get any real sense of why they were so special to her. I think the writer missed a trick here and it could have added so much to the book. As it is, it's just a story, told in vignettes of a problem child. This is not a tale of a bratty child growing up, it's a tale of a severely disturbed child.