In her debut novel, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Alice Furse stunningly, and with a grace that many more mature authors will never muster, depicts the slow descent of her protagonist into the kind of sadness that we all fear – the inevitable acceptance that this is it.
Furse is Orwellian in her depiction of our contemporary landscape, capturing the mundane of the everyday and scrawling life all over it in luminous letters.
She will make you weep and laugh in equal measure, and hold a mirror to your face that will all too often reveal the uncomfortable home truths. And for those who believe that small town Britain too rarely makes it into a cultural landscape, often focussed on the bigger cities, you’ll delighted.
Debut novels sometimes have an element of rambling about them, but this sharp focused work hooks you.
It is a superb read – one of those books that you fear reading because you know that as you plough through it, and you see the last few pages emerging quicker than your hopes and dreams for the characters, you will miss it when it’s gone.