One of those rare books that stays with you well after turning the last page, Vanessa Diffenbaugh's début novel is a beautiful and haunting tale of discovering love in the most unlikely of circumstances.
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This is the novel Dame Beryl Bainbridge was writing when she died in July 2010. I wonder how happy the author would have been with this version, assembled from her manuscript by friend and editor Brendan King. Although "happy" is perhaps not a word Bainbridge cared for in any case.
Pauline and Gemma go to the same school. Pauline is neglected, tough and, consequently, a bully. Gemma apparently has a stable family, but reluctantly goes to live with her mother and her mother's boyfriend, whose main attraction seems to be his wealth.