Precocious by Joanna Barnard

31st March 2016

What the publisher says:

‘Can there be a more unreliable narrator than a teenage girl?’

Fiona Palmer is (un)happily married when a chance meeting with her former teacher plunges her headlong into an affair.

Intercut with the realities of their adult relationship, Fiona remembers first meeting the enigmatic Henry Morgan as a precocious and lonely fourteen-year-old. Her schoolgirl crush developed into an intense relationship, but it was always one which she controlled.

Or did she?

What I say:

I have to admit that I didn’t buy this book as it is not the normal kind of thing I would read but I won it by retweeting the author on publication day.  I was however intrigued to see what made an award winning novel. 

I found this book hard work, not necessarily because of the content as it does not really become disturbing until half way through the book but more because of the style of writing.  The book is written in the form of a letter but also jumps backwards and forwards in time to cover various events.  At times this made it hard to follow for me.  Fiona, the main character appears to be a reliable narrator but towards the end she does realise that she, and others like her, were manipulated by HM.  

Rating 3 out of 5

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