Wednesday, February 27, 2013

withheld affection is what she has come to think of as love.

The Girl Below by Bianca Zander begins with protagonist Suki Piper's returned to London after a decade long escape to New Zealand. She has come back to her old neighborhood where she lived prior to her mother’s death from cancer. A place full of memories, some hinting at mysterious goings-on that Suki has struggled for years to piece together and understand.

The novel continues on in a series of flashbacks, taking the reader from the present to the past and back again. Suki's first person narrative carries the reader into her early childhood memories, the time in New Zealand, along with the strange memories that have been haunting her. In the present, she falls into the lives of her old neighbors, which brings vividly back memories from her childhood. Suki constantly sinks (in both the present and past sequences) into an apathy induced often by drugs. Her story is rather depressing, honestly. However, a young woman being forced to confront such a painful past has its inspiring sides as well.

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