Clever Girl

Clever Girl

by Tessa Hadley

Overview: Clever Girl is a powerful exploration of family relationships and class in modern life, witnessed through the experiences of an Englishwoman named Stella. Unfolding in a series of snapshots, Tessa Hadley's involving and moving novel follows Stella from childhood, growing up with her single mother in a Bristol bedsit, into the murky waters of middle age. It is a story vivid in its immediacy and rich in drama—violent deaths, failed affairs, broken dreams, missed chances. Yet it is Hadley's observations of everyday life, her keen skill at capturing the ways men and women think and feel and relate to one another that elevate this tale into "a beautiful and precisely drawn portrait of an everywoman, both extraordinary and ordinary."

Faith Bowers (12/21/18): I have found a new author for me to read. The story is told in the first person of the protagonist, a girl growing up in the 60s in Bristol England. She was born a year before me and so I found it interesting to hear about English life during the same time.

The book is descriptive of her surroundings, what Stella reads and the others in her life. She can stray for a few pages or a few paragraphs from the center of the chapter but most of the writing is very interesting and enjoyable. I am on to another novel by Hadley. She also has two collections of short stories.
Rating: ***

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