Summary

Shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize
Even a lone wolf wants to belong....
Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in an ex-commune beside a lake in the beautiful, austere backwoods of Northern Minnesota. The other girls at school call Linda 'Freak' or 'Commie'. Her parents mostly leave her to her own devices whilst the other inhabitants have grown up and moved on.
So when the perfect family - mother, father and their little boy, Paul - move into the cabin across the lake, Linda insinuates her way into the family's orbit. She begins to babysit Paul and feels that she finally has a place to belong. But something isn't right. Drawn into secrets she doesn't understand, Linda must make a choice. But how can a girl with no real knowledge of the world understand what the consequences will be?
©2017 Emily Fridlund (P)2016 Orion Publishing Group Limited
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By bookylady on 10-10-17

An absorbing novel, with hidden depths.

At a very basic level this novel seems very simple, a tale of a young girl growing up in an unusual environment ( an ex-commune) who becomes attracted to the life of a seemingly ordinary family who live nearby. She becomes drawn in by that family and becomes implicated in the secrets that bind them. It all ends in tragedy and the girl has to examine her part in it.

But this novel is so much more than that straightforward narrative. It examines bullying in all its forms, by adults and children; secrets and lies; the nature of truth; coercion within relationships; religion and the choices that it forces upon vulnerable people; the rights of children; alleged paedophiles and their 'victims'.

It is very atmospheric and the descriptions of the remote area in which the story is set are very vivid. The only thing that bothered me was the voice of the narrator. Someone with a little more gravitas would have been more suitable, I felt. but overall, it didn't spoil the story.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Sharon on 12-10-17

Good but Bloopers

I found this dark coming-of-age story extremely compelling and it has more emotional resonance for me than anything else on the Booker shortlist this year. Caitlin Thorburn read very well, although the voice was a little teenagy for a woman in her 30's as Madeline is when she narrates the story.

What annoyed me though were the bloopers, when a word was misread and became non-sensical in the context of the sentence - there were quite a few and they were majorly jarring and pulled me out of the story each time. How hard would it be to stop the recording and rerecord that section and get it right? This is a question for all publishers of audiobooks.

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8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Mallika on 17-06-18

Terrible

The book shifts between the past and present and there is no real development. It's a twisted way of stating what bad things happened in the past and Linda never going past it. There is no resolution and the ending is pointless. I believe I wasted my time listening to this one. In the end I wanted the ending to justify my reading this book but I was frustrated.

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1 out of 5 stars
By Rosaldo on 15-06-17

The worst piece of art i listened to

Just a collection of unimportant chats and thoughts that doesn't make any sense. It is very poor attempt to attract some listeners.

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