|Random House UK, Vintage Publishin|
This is a difficult book to analyse, and even after finishing the story I'm not altogether sure that I enjoyed it, as Stella’s life is in the main quite bleak. She was born in a Bristol bedsit to a single mother in the 1960’s, and as Stella’s early life drifts from one crisis to another, it sort of maps out how the rest of her life unravels. The story takes us from childhood through to Stella as she is at age fifty, with tons of life experience, and more than enough baggage to sink a ship, but ultimately even though I didn't understand or empathise with anything in Stella’s life, I did sort of grow to admire her unique brand of self reliance.
If anything, Clever Girl is more of a social observation about the minutiae of everyday life, and the sharp details of how coincidences shape our lives, and how we should live for the moment.
Tessa Hadley has a unique gift of writing thought provoking novels and in Clever Girl she has more than risen to the challenge of another stimulating novel.
My thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK, Vintage Publishing for this review e-copy.