Five Miles from Outer Hope, 2012

Nicola Barker’s Five Miles from Outer Hope was published in 2000. It’s a rights-of-passage book about a young woman’s first love. Which does not in any way describe how unsentimental and hilarious it is. It’s set in 1981 on a tiny island off the coast of Devon, and the main character is a six-foot-three-inch sixteen-year-old girl. Everything’s terrible – the family, which is permanently and pettily at war with itself, supplements its income by painting Margaret Thatcher mugs in a dilapidated house. Things could not get any worse unless, of course, a ginger stranger stinking of antiseptic were to walk into their lives…

I would recommend it to anyone.

In our house this book can be found: sitting room, fourth shelf down, right bookshelf.

I can’t find an easy reference to the book online, but here’s a link to the Wikipedia entry on Nicola Barker.

The picture was taken in Bexhill, UK.

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John and Deanne gave me the initial push into titling my works. Big thanks to Deanne for the encouragement and for inspiring elements of these posts. And also to Terry for sending me to the bookshelf in search of ideas, and to Richard at CK Ponderings for being a cool collaborator. Our latest is due Sunday…