Deane & McLoughlin


Book Review

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Charlotte RocheAfter reading Roche's first novel, you can't help but wonder if Wetlands is semi autobiographical. I half hope it is and half hope it isn't. Either way, Roche's in your face, try-as-hard-as-humanly-possible-to-make-you-cringe style proves to be addictive reading.

Enter Helen, 18. She likes to eat her own bodily fluids and soak up that of others from public toilets. Not a lesbian but if you want to know what it's like to visit a female prostitute - she will tell you. Holed up in a hospital after surgery on her infected anus, Helen - bored, talks us through certain life experiences, her philosophies, loves and nightmares. I don't want to say too much because, let's face it - there's not that much to it.

It's interesting reading in the sort of can't bear to read on (thanks to totally gross factor) but can't stop reading out of pure curiosity and fascination. I litterally squirmed reading this on the bus and had to check every 20 seconds that no one was reading over my shoulder. I'm not a prude but it was definitely confronting. Yes, it explores female sexuality but at times it made me feel physically ill. After the detail and emotion that goes into this book I didn't appreciate the abrupt, almost rushed ending. I'd definitely read it again (it's a quick read) but I'd stop short of the ending and imagine a better one.

You'll never look at avocados the same way again.

C. xxx

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