Frank McCourt once wryly remarked that, for a writer, “the happy childhood is hardly worth your while.” Using McCourt’s Richter scale about what gives writers sufficient material to “whimper about the woes of their early years”, then Frankie, the 26-year-old narrator of Sara Baume’s finely crafted second novel, has little to work with in terms of emotional or material childhood deprivation or sexual, physical or psychological trauma. Instead – like surprisingly high numbers of people...
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