In this beautifully written YA tale, Bryony Allen takes us on a journey into the lonely world of bullied teenager Alice Turner, and the solace she finds in a strange little cafe called Otoli. The waitress who works there, Jenny (who always seems to be scrubbing at something on a tabletop whenever Alice enters) offers her apparently unconditional friendship, and seems to understand the despair Alice feels at being a social outcast at school.
However, Jenny's friendship is only apparently unconditional, and as the novel progresses we realise, along with Alice, that there is much more to her new-found friend than meets the eye.
What I particularly loved about OTOLI is the way Bryony Allen draws the reader into Alice's world as inexorably as Alice herself is drawn into Jenny's. There's no spoiler in saying that a strong thread of the supernatural runs through the story, which Allen handles with a great subtlety and finesse which calls to mind the work of Susan Hill.
As the earlier review notes, Allen's own work as a teacher has clearly given her a profound and sympathetic understanding of the often tortuous journey from childhood to adulthood. OTOLI deserves to find a wide readership, and should certainly be in every school library.
An additional note: the book is published by the small indie press Pneuma Springs, and I was very impressed with the production quality. Not one typo in the entire book, which is more than can be said for many big publishers.
Highly recommended on all counts.
Popular posts from this blog
A teacher’s creation! This is a highly enjoyable witty fictional book centred around school life and the dreaded Ofsted Inspection. The fictional Beaver's Brook Primary School had received a justifiably scathing report . . . The fragile lives of the teachers are held open to scrutiny and ridicule. Their hopes and aspirations crumble beneath a diatribe of no-holds-barred mockery, in which love, ambition, jealousy, passion, guilt and innocence collide - with disastrous consequences. Have you read this book? Share your thought here. Find out more: Mystery Deceit and a School Inspector
Mammograms Save Lives By Avril Dalziel Saunders Avril was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2011. After a mammogram she was called back to receive the devastating news that she had breast cancer. She felt well, had no symptoms, had never smoked, ate a healthy diet and exercised regularly, so how could this be? There was no explanation, it can happen to anyone! Author Avril Dalziel Saunders says ‘…I want to inspire and encourage these women as well as women all over the world to have regular checks. …my profit from the book sales will go to Breast Cancer Care and Macmillan Nurses. I am shouting this out loud…‘MAMMOGRAMS SAVE LIVES!’… Find out more “Inspiring and triumphant” …publishedbestsellers.com Genre: Coping with illness and specific conditions ISBN: 978-1-907728-36-5 Publication Date: 23 February 2012 Edition/Format: 1st/Paperback Book Size: 203 x 127 mm 70pp
Read the review of the book 'In all Probability' by The Truth About Books . Hold on. Not so fast. Just when you think it’s just another day…. An assassin with a unique technique, an almost-was soccer star and a bitter long-forgotten one-hit-wonder pop star are just a few of the random characters who turn up within the stories in this book. Each are loveable in their own different ways and are doing their very best to dodge Lady Luck’s sadistic target practice. Heroes they are not. This all happens within “In All Probability” the first collection of Steve Morris’s diverse short stories. And do they all live happily ever after? In all probability- probably not. Find out more: In all Probability