Today I’m pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for Real Life. My review is written with thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the tour and for my copy of the book via the publisher.
At home there are four bedrooms: one for her, one for her little brother Sam, one for her parents, and one for the carcasses. Her father is a big-game hunter, a powerful predator, and her mother is submissive to her violent husband’s demands. The young narrator spends the days with Sam, playing in the shells of cars dumped for scrap and listening out for the melody of the ice-cream truck, until a brutal accident shatters their world. The uncompromising pen of Adeline Dieudonne wields flashes of brilliance as she brings her characters to life in a world that is both dark and sensual. This breathtaking debut is a sharp and funny coming-of-age tale in which reality and fantasy collide.
When a book opens with a ten year old child describing the “carcass room” in their family home, you know it’s going to be interesting! Dieudonne hooked me from the beginning and I loved being drawn into this dark atmospheric and mesmerising world.
The narrator of Real Life is not named, but she is nevertheless a fascinating character. She isn’t always likeable and she often makes mistakes, but I wanted to get to know her better and often sympathised with her situation. Through the narrator’s family life, Dieudonne deals with some very important issues such as coming of age, domestic violence and depression. These issues have been explored before, but Dieudonne does it so differently that I felt like a new light had been shone upon them.
There is an element of fantasy in Real Life and it took me a while to get used to this, but I loved the originality of Dieudonne’s writing and the way she described abstract concepts. I must also congratulate the translator who has brought Dieudonne’s words to the page so expertly so that they do not lose their magic.
Real Life is available from Amazon.
You can follow the rest of the blog tour here: