Clever Girl follows the story of Stella, from her childhood with her single mother in a Bristol bedsit in the 1960s into the mysterious shallows of her middle age. The story is full of drama - violent deaths, an abrupt end to Stella's schooldays, two sons by different fathers – yet it is Hadley’s observation of ordinary lives, of the way men and women think and feel and interact, that dazzles.
©2013 Tessa Hadley (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd
"Beutifully observed and crafted"
Intelligent Thoughtful Entertaining
It is not a book of memorable moments but rather a developing relationship with the 'clever girl'; Stella. I particularly enjoyed the description of a 1970's adolescence, which I also remember.
The developing character was evident in her performance as Stella grows older
No, I wanted to savour it over time
This book is my first reading of a novel by Tessa Hedley. I chose it after hearing her compared with Anne Tyler. Whilst not quite as witty, the comparison is a good one as Tessa Hedley focuses on the detail of lives, relationships and the way that life just happens sometimes. Stella is torn between selfishness and putting others first; between pleasure and duty. Not always entirely likeable, Stella is a well developed and believable character who's life, like most lives, does not go to plan and is not always predictable. Told with the benefit of maturity, there is an enjoyable cynical tone to Stella's recollections.
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