Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Yips by Nicola Barker

I read Nicola Barker's The Yips a while back and have decided that February 14 is the day to blog about it for no other reason than amongst the large cast of offbeat characters is a young woman named Valentine. She's an agoraphobic tattoo artist who works from home while caring for her mother, who suffers from dementia. Valentine has quite a specialty niche for her work: tattooing women's genitalia.

Some of the other characters propelling this energetic novel include Stuart, a professional golfer whose game has fallen apart; Jen, a waitress with an outrageous sense of humour; Gene, a male breast cancer survivor holding down three part-time jobs; and Gene's wife Sheila, a pastor who may be ready for a change in occupation. It's a mischievous, witty and intelligent look at sex, romance and love in all its guises in modern society. Highly recommended!

Readalikes: The Red House (Mark Haddon) and anything by Martin Amis or Ali Smith.

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