Telling Liddy by Anne Fine - review by Alison Prince

Alison Prince

Keep Shifting the Nuns

Telling Liddy


Bantam Press 206pp £15.99 order from our bookshop

Telling Liddy begins in mid-flow: ‘Bridie put her cup carefully back on its saucer and stared at her sister across the wide pine table. ‘Sorry?’’

There is no reader on earth except the irretrievably unimaginative who will not want to know what has been going on. Authors who have learned their craft in the hard school of children’s writing, as Anne Fine has so notably done, do not waste words, and neither do they hang about in a fuddle of introspection. They are the tough engineers of the writing world, and understand the nuts and bolts of the business better than most.

Fine’s work, both for children and adults, is characterised by its intellectual clarity. Like a good examination candidate, she never loses sight of the fundamental topic underlying the characters and happenings in her books. No matter how wild the events and how funny the writing, a steely purpose remains intact,

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