I am now utterly convinced that Cookson should be reclaimed as a feminist writer. This book is just a massive list of reasons why we need equality of the sexes. The heroine, Christine, who tells the story in first person, is a tragic example of why heteronormative patrichal values are EVIL and should be STAMPED OUT.
Dominated her entire life by her abusive brother, and his friend’s Dom and his younger brother Sam, and kept under lock and key by her mother who is terrified she will be ruined because of her beauty, Christine is never taught anything other than she must remain pure, and keep the family respectable. When this doesn’t happen, the fall out leads to her family collapsing and, in order to cope, she turns to drink.
This book reminded me a little bit of Roddy Doyle’s The Woman Who Walked Into Doors (though its not as good, that has to be one of the best books I’ve ever read). I was made so angry and fustrated by what happened to Christine, but at the same time it made me want to fight all the harder for people’s rights to body autonomy,for the right to choose to be a parent, for the right to be respected and not be be abused or mistreated, and for complaints of abuse to be taken seriously.
I officially love Catherone Cookson now.