This short novel is beautifully-written. It is as concise and carefully-crafted
as poetry without a single, superfluous word, sentence or sentiment – no excess.
An American teenager called Meade, living in Paris, descends
into anorexia while suffering from dependency on drugs, alcohol and her twin brother, Ben Ho. She seeks to solve psychological problems with the feel-good effects of chemical consumption – struggling with excess and self-denial, craving and restraint. The novel gets deep inside her subconscious as we experience her (dysmorphic) body, her burgeoning modelling career and her unhealthy relationships, through her increasingly unreal sense of reality.
This is a perfect work of fiction about the imperfection of perfection and addiction.
I enjoyed Hampton-Jones’ first novel, ‘Vicious Spring’ in 2003, but this new one is even better.