Paradise Lodge is the story of Lizzy Vogel, she’s a school girl, 15 years old in the 70s and in need of something to do. She takes a job in an old people’s home, never expecting things to pan out the way they did.
This is a book about every day lives being lived. When a rival old people’s home is opened and the business starts to take a turn for the worst and everyone must pull their weight in order for Paradise Lodge to stay open. As an aside, Lizzie is also dealing with a family on the brink of pennilessness, an unrequited love for her colleague’s boyfriend Mike Yu and the constant possibility of being kicked out of school.
*Please note: I received this book gratis in order to provide a review. This review is my honest opinion and is unaffected by the receipt of this for free.*
Nina Stibbe’s raw and authentic voice is something that I wasn’t quite able to put me finger on at first. I soon realised that this was the same way I felt about Virginia Woolf when I first read Mrs Dalloway. Set in the post-modern era Paradise Lodge does something that Mrs Dalloway doesn’t (for me, personally). It gives intrigue to the every day. This book is when looked at from above, simply the story of a rebellious teenager who cares more about having money for Linco Beer shampoo and Maxwell House coffee. However, if you look at this book from all angles you can see that it is much more complex.
I think of good writing like an intricately . If a book is complexly woven, plots will blend and merge to create an interconnected design that could be confused for the real thing at first glance. A book that can resonate with me, while showcasing a protagonist that holds no resemblance to my own self, has unlocked a unique and powerful level of consciousness. I thoroughly revelled in the experience of Lizzie Vogel’s narrative and her journey to understanding her own drive and belief.
Having not read Man at the Helm (which, to my understanding, you don’t need to read, in order to read Paradise Lodge) I was walking into the character of Lizzie with a blank slate. Nina Stibbe does a brilliant job of re-introducing the Vogel family and creating what could easily be a virtuoso stand-alone.
Paradise Lodge will be published by Viking Books from June 2nd 2016.
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