What a great find. Knowing nothing about A Kind of Intimacy or its author Jenn Ashworth, I picked this one up at the Border's closeout for 60% off. I actually picked up a few Europa Editions that day just because they have interesting covers and are well made books. So I guess it is icing on the cake that I really liked the novel itself.
In the early (and I mean early) pages I found myself rooting for Annie as she leaves her past behind and pledges to get a fresh new start in life. I love the opening scene where she kicks her old couch a few times as she prepares to leave her old house for good. I had such a hopeful feeling for Annie and her future. When she arrives in her new neighborhood I bristled at the insensitivity of her new neighbor who mistakes her for a char woman and can't get it through his head that she is single--that there is no husband and no child still to arrive.
And then you start to realize that something is a little off about Annie--that is until you realize that there is A LOT that is off about Annie. This might be kind of spoilery, but I don't think it will ruin the suspense created in the book. Annie is a total whack job. She is delusional and a pathological liar. I will leave it up to you to find out if her story is a tragedy or a triumph. I don't want to give too much away.
I was absolutely drawn into Annie's story and couldn't wait to see what happened next. There were moments when I was absolutely squirming in embarassment as Annie is about to get caught in a lie. But like all pathological liars she brilliantly deflects scrutiny, at least for a while. There was suspsense, and humor, and more than a little hmm...kinkiness. Its dark, its disturbing, but eminently readable.
This is a fantastic book. And a debut novel to boot.