Published Jan 2010
Thirteen-year old Cath lives two lives. There is the enclosed life of her convent boarding school in the English countryside, of frightening nuns and cold hallways that smell of boiled cabbage cooked long ago. The stone corridors hide a more painful truth. Cath is a new girl, lonely and unused to the restriction, the masked cruelty, and the cold depiction of God. She finds refuge in nature, and her friend Olive’s vision of the starry Universe.
But there is another world outside school. It is the bright shiny world of Very, Cath’s older sister who is at art school – the world of seventies Punk London, studded, pierced and vinyled, inhabited by bedraggled artists, outrageous homosexuals, and shadowy night club owners.
This is a wonderful portrait of two sisters (each in their own way on the brink of growing up), of the sharp pain of adolescence and its particular loneliness, and of the exhiliration of youth. But London and the convent both hold their dangers and Cath must find her own way.