I have recently read Charles Lambert's wonderful novel, Little Monsters (Picador). In sixties England, thirteen-year-old Carol's father has killed her mother and she must go to live on the bleak Derbyshire moors with her harsh pub landlady aunt. Now, in present-day Italy, she is working with asylum seekers. With great aplomb, and a commendably light tone, the novel alternates between these two time levels to unravel a deep mystery and expose a heart-rending struggle to escape the cycles of emotional damage. Personally, I'm blown away by the fact that a male writer could so well understand both the physicality and the emotional reality of being a girl, but I recommend the book too for its wonderfully restrained writing, and above all its very good story.
Charles will be appearing tomorrow on this blog in the first leg of his tour of another book, his story collection The Scent of Cinnamon, newly published by Salt.