Publication year: 2023
Media class: Hardback
Publisher: London : Faber & Faber, 2023.
ISBN: 9780571374434 (hbk.) : 14.99
In Falls Landing, Florida - a place built of theme parks, swampy lakes, and scorched bougainvillea flowers - something sinister lurks in the deep. A gang of thirteen-year-old girls obsessively orbit around the local preacher's daughter, Sammy. She is mesmerizing, older, and in love with Eddie. But suddenly, Sammy goes missing. Where is she? Watching from a distance, they edge ever closer to discovering a dark secret about their fame-hungry town and the cruel cost of a ticket out. What they uncover will continue to haunt them for the rest of their lives. Through a darkly beautiful and brutally compelling lens, Dizz Tate captures the violence, horrors, and manic joys of girlhood. 'Brutes' is a novel about the seemingly unbreakable bonds in the 'we' of young friendship, and the moment it is broken forever.
No. of reservations: 0
I enjoyed the first part of this book, narrated in the first person plural voice of a group of 13 year old girls, reminiscent of the technique of Eugenides's The Virgin Suicides. But when it switches to the individual voices of the girls, now grown up, I found it far less interesting and, in fact, it dragged for me. I also found the surrealistic aspects unconvincing, and these increase in number as the story progresses. I suppose it's an interesting way to explore both the insecurities and brutality of young adolescents and the dangers which they face from distracted parents and exploitative and dangerous adults, but it didn't work for me.
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