Enter the world of Louise Coulson through her notes on her family, school and friends. Lou is a perceptive outsider who takes notes as if she were holding a film camera silently fixed on a world that tends to ignore her. Her revenge is a perfect image, sharp, subtle and full of humour. Here they all are: her dad who is in a relationship with a sixth former, Sarah her moody sister, her mum who tries to burn all memories in a saucepan and has a ‘brief psychotic episode’, her nan who goes to seances, her friend Faith who has six parents (all gay) as well as Lou’s dog and parents in her alternative universe. Told in the present tense so that you feel that you right there and sprinkled with Lou’s inimitable asides.
‘Boyfriend didn’t seem the right word for someone who is fast approaching forty-seven and who owns socks that are older than I am.’
The characters slide in and out of this beautifully crafted book as if on a stage. Lou takes notes on what everyone says, interweaving comments and dialogue to create a narrative that’s full of fireworks. In the end you can’t but agree that there is no such thing as a ‘normal’ family and that it’s ‘the people who are different who make the difference.’