An honest sense of loneliness and hope

Killing Hapless Ally, by Anna Vaught, reviewed by Rachael Mellor.

For a book that struggles at first to find its feet, it does manage to make an impression – something one would want from good literature.

We are introduced to Ally, and her alter-persona Hapless Ally. At first a loveable caricature, who came into existence as a crutch for a troubled little girl, she soon becomes her own problematic self, as we see Ally grappling with her continued existence. Perhaps it is time to kill Hapless Ally.

Throughout the book, the reader is hopeful for Ally, as her story follows her from the ‘baby in the bucket’ to motherhood and beyond. Despite the slightly disjointed narrative, the book opens up into something similar to a series on vignettes, giving us masterly snippets into Ally’s experiences and mental state, without spoon-feeding the reader.

The book concludes with an honest sense of loneliness, but also hope. A beautifully insightful book.

Patrician Press; 2016; Pb £10.00

Reviewed by Rachael Mellor, who is a postgraduate student at the University of Hertfordshire

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