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‘Odd Child Out’: A BookTrib Conversation with Gilly MacMillan

in Thrillers by

The saying “art imitates life” rings true in particular for Gilly MacMillan’s detective thriller, Odd Child Out. Her latest novel has the heavy matter of dealing with immigration and refugees, two subjects that are heavily featured in politics and the news across the globe on a daily basis. Yet, MacMillan takes these controversial topics home, having them play out in the friendship between two boys. Students of one of Bristol’s elite private schools, Noah and Abdi are inseparable, best friends since day one. They share a love of the same things, despite their wildly different backgrounds: one is the son of a photographer, with a privileged upbringing, and the other is a refugee from Somalia, attending school on a scholarship. But then…

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Tessa Hadley’s clever girl is just like us

in Fiction by

What happened to her? Where is she, we want to know.We wonder this as we read the latest from British novelist Tessa Hadley, whose Clever Girl (Harper, March) is narrated by Stella, who details the events of her life, from early childhood on. A first person narrator is of course not uncommon, but Hadley’s approach is a bit unusual as the narration occasionally shifts into the present tense, reminding us that somewhere Stella sits, an older woman looking back on her life and telling her story, from her girlhood in Bristol in the 1950s and 60s to the present. This literary device is part of what creates the tension in the book. The novel is somewhat episodic, true to real life…

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