Carmarthen Journal - - Book Shelf -

by Shirley Bar­rett, Fleet, hard­back £12.99, ebook £6.99 ★★★ ★★ LIFE has hit Eleanor Mel­lett with a righthook of re­la­tion­ship break­down and an up­per-cut of breast can­cer. Reel­ing from her treat­ment, she takes a pri­mary school teach­ing job in the tiny moun­tain­side town of Tal­bingo to start again. But Eleanor’s pre­de­ces­sor dis­ap­peared with­out trace overnight...

Eleanor war­rants sym­pa­thy due to her ill­ness, but is her­self rather hor­ren­dous, and the tropes of best friend, new love in­ter­est and ma­ter­nal long­ing are all twisted into unset­tling, then ter­ri­fy­ing, in­car­na­tions. Like Twin Peaks or The Turn Of The Screw, low-level weird­ness and black com­edy builds slowly into dark hor­ror.

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