Emily Bearn

Is it Creative to make a Scene, or Just Bad Form?

Is it Creative to make a Scene, or Just Bad Form?


Weidenfeld & Nicolson 192pp £9.99 order from our bookshop

The extraordinary thing about Characters of Love is not the ingredients – a virgin, an absent father, an unreliable lover and a sprinkling of nervous breakdowns – but the way in which Susie Boyt combines them.

Having abandoned her as a baby, Nell’s psychiatrist father reappears on her tenth birthday, presents her with ‘the sort of dress that a rich person’s doll would wear’ and starts taking her out once a week and stuffing her with cream cakes until she is sick. No sooner has she decided that her ‘heart belongs to daddy’ than he moves to America. Bi-annual postcards follow.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • He weeps by the side of the ocean, He weeps on the top of the hill; He purchases pancakes and lotion, And chocolate… ,
    • 'Half-way through The Conquest of Water I felt as if I had been subjected to the literary equivalent of excessive c… ,
    • 'Volume five, then, but still no end in sight. Sandbrook is clearly enjoying himself so much he can’t bear the seri… ,
    • 'By the end of the book something so weighty, stylish and impressive has been built up that one feels far nearer to… ,
    • 'Her ensuing psychotic episode is described so convincingly ... that the reader will wonder if Dobrakovová did not… ,
    • 'The perspectives complement and contest one another, amounting to a glorious, atmospheric set of ventriloquisms.'… ,
    • RT : I reviewed The Testaments for . I will not be taking any questions at this time. ,