Page 45 Review by Stephen
Freddy is a very young girl occasionally mistaken for a boy.
She lives with her Mum, next door to Uncle Sully and downstairs from kindly Mrs. Medeiros who lost her husband in the war. Theres a photograph of him on the dresser.
Occasionally her Dad comes to collect Freddy, but she doesnt want to go. Its not her house, it doesnt have her things. They eat on the settee. Later she sleeps there with a sodium street light streaming through the window.
In summer she stays with Aunt Maria for two weeks, but she doesnt want to go. Freddy hates Aunt Maria (she doesnt) and Freddy hates the countryside (she doesnt). Her friends arent there, but at least her dog Frank is.
Without saying a word on the subject, Mendes evokes the unsettling prospect of staying with relative strangers: different smells, different routines, different television shows, different meals eaten in different places and different sleeping arrangements.
Also, kids at play. Its a very quiet, understated little book and BERLINs Jason Lutes is a big fan.