14-year-old outcast Madeline becomes caught up in a scandal with her neighbours across the lake.
◉ “Reading a straight-forward story was a welcome relief after the complex Lincoln in the Bardo. I enjoyed the contrasting worlds that Linda existed in and how these different settings and cultures impacted on each other and the decisions she made. The weird in-between stage of adolescence where you are still a child but also an adult was convincingly conveyed. I felt that being this age meant the main character was not held to account by me as a reader for her unpredictable and odd behaviour.
“However in spite of the unusual events in this novel, there was still a feeling of predictability to the storyline.
◉ “In her debut novel, Fridlund has created a moody, suspenseful book that accurately depicts the angst of a teenager’s life, especially one who is the remnant of a disbanded hippie commune. Madeline’s observations and her queer take on situations was convincing. Her obsession with power was nicely portrayed and reiterated in various sub-plots.
“However, what didn’t work for me was the release of information. We know from page 2 that a boy called Paul dies and there is a trial. Perfect set up: death of a boy, socially inept girl from a hippie commune involved some how – yes I struggled to put the book down.
“But the provision of plot details was such that by the time the trial actually takes place we know well enough what actually happened and there is no great twist that leaves you wanting to re-read the book immediately, as I expected.
“Odd girl as a passive observer – yes, great, read it. Psychological thriller – no, sorry, don’t get your hopes up. Still a good read and a full of atmosphere, but I’ve read many better books this year.” – Rachel