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Book reviews ... Author interviews ... and anything else I think might be of interest to writers and readers.

Sunday 27 July 2008

Everything You Ever Wanted ...

... By Rosalind Wyllie

'Everything You Ever Wanted' is published by Tonto Books and was written by Rosalind Wyllie, who was mentored by Caroline Smailes author of 'In Search Of Adam'.

You can find Tonto Books here, Rosalind here and Caroline here.

Rosalind writes exquisitely and has drawn two main characters who are very different, and who will both keep you guessing what they are going to do next until the very end. She has woven together strands of humour and pain that will keep you gripped as they run alongside each other throughout the story.

Tiggy is a beautifully drawn character, a heart rending mix of emotions and insecurities. The delicate prose comes into its own when describing her life. Roz describes with considered precision Tiggy's feelings about her married lover. ‘He filled in the hollows and empty spaces where my parents should have loved me.’ This sets the scene for one of the most important themes of the novel.

Scarlett explodes into the novel forcefully taking Tiggy, and the reader, by surprise. Post Scarlett, Tiggy says, ‘My days have a rhythm to them now and whenever Scarlett is in the room there is noise and laughter.’

On the surface of it Scarlett is confident, sassy and funny. ‘South London is God’s way of telling people not to build bridges’, she tells us. But inevitably and inexorably, her darker and more damaged side is shown and she takes the reader on a very scary journey indeed.

Set in the early 1990s, the historical detail is evocative but never intrusive. Allusions to the release of John McCarthy and the endless occupation of the number one spot in the charts by Bryan Adams bring the era to life.

Music is used throughout to tell us more about the characters, from Dan Dan The Piano Man, belting out cover versions in the club and despairing at Tiggy's Cliff Richard LPs to Tiggy's own pivotal moment listening to the 'Kids from Fame' soundtrack - 'the holy grail of heartbreak'. And any novel which has ‘It’s Gonna Be A Long Night’ and ‘Starmaker’ as an important part of the plot is all right by me.

The story is cleverly crafted, fast-paced and intriguing and is backed up by writing which is incisive, evocative and satisfying.

This is a refreshingly original novel and I can’t wait to see what Rosalind writes next.