gail schimmel

The blog of writer Gail Schimmel: A bit of writing, a bit of parenting, a bit of thinking and some book reviews

Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice Cream Float Before he stole my Ma

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I’ve just finished this book by Kerry Hudson, and not to keep you in suspense, it was great. (Actually, I don’t like bad mouthing other writers – so you’ll only read about books I have enjoyed here.)

My editor put this book into our bookclub, explaining that she used to belong to a very booky bookclub where they had to buy certain award winning books and this was one, but she hadn’t read it. When I started I found the gritty setting of working class Scotland quite a culture shock – especially as it is written from the point of view of a child. I had quite a protected childhood, and the stark realism of character Janie’s childhood almost overwhelmed me. I actually had to put the book down for a day – which is not like me – because I couldn’t read poor Janie’s life (and when you read the author’s biog, this feeling intensifies because the book appears to be quite autobiographical).

But when I picked it up again, I was gripped. It is gritty and raw and real but also sweet and lovely and hopeful . . . a classic coming of age story.

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