Friday, July 28, 2017

Sophie Someone, by Hayley Long

Sophie lives in Belgium and has a Flemish last name, but she speaks English and has faint memories of having come from England.  When she asks, her parents are vague about the details.  And there are other strange things too, like the way her parents claim she doesn't have a birth certificate or strangers who show up and know her Dad but call him by a different name.  Then one day, she comes across a woman on Facebook from England who claims to be her grandmother.  What she finds out causes her understanding of her family and her life to crumble.

It's a story full of loose ends which peter out maddeningly without much resolution.  Complicating the storytelling is an odd lexicon that Long uses, swapping dozens of words with others (e.g., "freckles" for friends, "boiled" for bad, ironically "trump" for truth, etc.).  This gets distracting and grating and is never really explained that well (there's some brief mention at the end about using a code to obscure the story).  Fewer concepts and gimmicks and more story would have made this a better read.

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