Glasshopper Review: “intelligent and beautifully observed”

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.”

Observer Sept 09 005

Reviewed this week alongside Noah’s Compass by Anne Tyler and The Bradshaw Variations by Rachel Cusk.

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