I’m not going to dress this up as a high brow read. It’s a flick-through-it-fast sun lounger tale of an unfortunate good-girl caught out by a moment of madness which, well, which goes viral.
‘SO FAR twenty-three thousand and ninety-six people have seen me…my mother, my father…my sixth-year biology teacher.”
It’s not really any more complicated than that. It covers off some family stuff, adoption, our place in our families, a mother’s revenge and an awful lot of sadness. But it is what it is, and I read it in pretty much one sitting, as an antidote to a much heavier read beforehand (more of soon but I need to ponder that one a bit longer).
It’s definitely an intelligent vehicle for Fitzgerald to use the incident to explore the baggage we all have about our insecurities, our ambitions and our most trusted relationships. And I was most definitely rooting big time for our protagonist Su Jin, as well as her fabulous, flawed mother Ruth.
Probably this year’s Gone Girl, it’s an easy, don’t want to put it down read. So if you’re off on your holidays it’s a good bet for an engaging page-turner. If you have a daughter though, be warned, you’ll probably never let her out of your sight again.
Viral, by Helen Fitzgerald – Faber & Faber