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Tennis Lessons

Tennis Lessons

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Upstairs, Siobhan is consumed by her affair with a married man. Her days revolve around his sporadic texts and rare visits. She barely notices the strange girl who lives below and dawdles in the foyer. You wonder if she likes her life, or if she, like you, is dependent on the idea that things will improve Since her mother's death, Lily has withdrawn from the world, trapped between grief and anger. She has to break out of this damaging cycle - but how? Sara Baume gave a brutal poignancy to her marginalised narrator in Spill Simmer Falter Wither through a second-person narrative told to a one-eyed dog. In Ghost Light, Joseph O'Connor's luminous and underrated novel about the actor Molly Allgood, the second person created an intimacy with a protagonist whose failing career and past loves had brought her low. And Claire Keegan's short story The Parting Gift is a masterclass in second person, providing the reader a devastating proximity to a young woman leaving a troubled childhood home. One wonders why we can’t just have the information, particularly as the book is narrated in short titled sections that give the month and age of the character. While initially helpful, these seem to grow more random over the course of the novel, drawing attention to the artifice of the story and away from the world of its narrator. Brilliantly vivid

In an apartment building in Belfast, two women wrestle with the sorrows and spectres of love and loss.Upstairs, Siobhán is consumed by her affair with a married man. Her days revolve around his sporadic texts and rare visits. She barely notices the strange girl who lives below and dawdles in the foyer. Tennis Lessons is a singular creation - a vivid, funny, emotionally intelligent dissection of an ordinary life. Nicole Flattery With its quirky, outsider narrator and atmosphere of discontent, this first novel has echoes of Tessa Kavanagh’s Things We Have in Common, Lottie Moggach’s Kiss Me First and Michelle Gallen’s recent debut Big Girl, Small Town.

elevating the ordinary with luscious prose . . . [Tennis Lessons] gives us the magical ability of seeing this tired old world with brand new eyes. What an invaluable gift, and what a beautiful book. CultureflyIn the hands of a skilled writer that lesser-spotted animal, the second-person voice, can be used to great effect in fiction. It pays off, however. Despite there being a fair few occasions where you want to shake her, or at least beg her to stop making so many bad decisions, the fact that the heroine of Tennis Lessons often seems like an alien who has recently arrived from a faraway planet makes her a fascinating character. Her peculiarity yields some blessings, along with the obvious curses. She doesn’t appear capable of holding a grudge, which leads to a beautifully and complexly drawn redemption arc for her teenage bully. Our protagonist views the world from a different perspective. Things that everyone else takes for granted – the necessity of taking exams, climbing the career ladder, having a family – she questions. Tennis Lessons sometimes reads as an anthropological study of a distant tribe, only the distant tribe is us. We don’t often come across particularly well, but there’s always the hope of improvement. I enjoyed the connection with Rachel. So many friendships are based on a strong shared sense of humour and that really comes across in this book. I really enjoyed the banter between the two, it felt real and affectionate. I especially liked the reference to her being an alien just arrived, as she did seem so out of kilter with the world. Teenage years Overall, it was a great exploration of character as there wasn’t much in terms of plot. But I loved the writing style and how their pasts were explored, especially Lily’s through mundane memories and conversations with her mum. These moments were witty and full of emotion and that’s what won me over. For me the strongest parts were when she was among her own peers, whether that was with her best friend or the people she outwardly were her friends but were her tormentors. Many teenage girls know about that balance, and whether the reader knows about this first hand or through observation these relationships felt painfully real. Moreover, I challenge anyone not to relate to how it feels to have a joke not land or say the wrong thing at the worst time, as this character so often experiences.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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