Angelica Stone by Susi Osborne
|Angelica Stone by Susi Osborne|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Two young women meet: on the face of it they're completely different in every way, but a strong bond forms between them and the consequences of the friendship are impossible to predict. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 260||Date: August 2017|
|Publisher: Book Guild Publishing|
|External links: Author's website|
I'd say that Angelica Stone was known as Angel to her friends, but she's not big on friends. She has the sort of background you dread hearing about: sexually abused as a child, grabbed by the care system and didn't so much fall through the cracks as escaped its clutches and then had to learn how to cope. She's been told that she's tainted, that she ruins every relationship without intending to and that she's best staying away from 'decent' people. One of her jobs is working in a supermarket and it's there that she meets Lola Moriarty and she's a completely different kettle of fish.
Lola's relationship broke down when her partner ran off with another woman: she's heard that they're planning to go to Australia. She might not be able to trust Will Bower, but he's still the love of her life and she wishes that they could get back together again. In the meantime she's brought her first class degree and broken heart home to live with her parents in deepest suburbia. She needed the escape route, but there is a disadvantage. Peter and Helen might have been married for thirty years but they're still acting like a couple of loved-up teenagers. It's advisable to make a loud noise before entering a room and give them a moment or two to adjust themselves... Awkward.
That can be coped with, but it's Angel who worries Lola. Her parents know what she's like for picking up lame ducks, but her mother is worried by this relationship. For one thing the eighteen-year-old lives in the red-light area, which isn't too surprising when you find out what her other job is... She's got a two-year-old son as well and Lola's concerned that Angel sometimes has to leave him on his own whilst she goes out to work. Worse still, she sometimes has to leave him with the brute of a man she's living with.
Susi Osborne has a real talent for developing relationships authentically: I really couldn't understand how Angel and Lola would even exchange more than a couple of words, given the difference in their ages, educational background and histories - and it was all exacerbated by Angel's knowledge that she would be best avoiding a relationship she'd only mess up. But Osborne's clever: it wasn't too long before I was rooting for the friendship and for the two girls individually. I also fell in love with Angel's son Rafferty - and Rafferty fell for Lola.
The plot is neat and well executed with a great twist which you might not be expecting - but all the clues are there. Add to this some great characters whom you worry about long after you've finished reading and you have a great story. I devoured it long into the night, determined not to put it down until I knew what had happened. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you might also enjoy Together by Julie Cohen.
You can read more book reviews or buy Angelica Stone by Susi Osborne at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Angelica Stone by Susi Osborne at Amazon.com.
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