The Mail on Sunday
“By the worthy winner of the 2008 Mail on Sunday Novel Prize, Glasshopper is an intelligent, beautifully observed coming-of-age story, packed with vivid characters and inch-perfect dialogue. The book opens in Portsmouth in the Eighties, with 13-year-old Jake struggling to cope as his family disintegrates. He is a bright boy, fascinated by Greek mythology, but finds his mother’s decline into alcoholism difficult to fathom. Can’t she see what a self-destructive course she is set on? Then, little by little, as the novel takes us back in time, the riddle resolves itself. Isabel Ashdown is not a flashy writer, but her storytelling skills are formidable; her human insights highly perceptive.”
Reviewed this week alongside Noah’s Compass by Anne Tyler and The Bradshaw Variations by Rachel Cusk.