Adrian Turpin

Girl Power

The Stars in the Bright Sky


Jonathan Cape 400pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Here come the girls, as the adverts say, and they are still quite a handful. The last time we saw Manda, Kay, Kylah, Chell and Finn – in Alan Warner’s The Sopranos (1998) – they were running wild in Glasgow, on day release from their Catholic girls’ school in a Highland port town. That book represented an astonishing act of literary cross-dressing, as Warner uncannily channelled the thoughts and feelings of teenage girls, with their boy-hunger, boozing and body-piercing, as well as a dash of Sapphic romance. This highly enjoyable new instalment, The Stars in the Bright Sky, contains many of the same elements and displays a similar empathy. But the passing years have brought an inevitable shift of tone as youthful exuberance is tempered by the wider world’s demands.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter