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ARC Book Review: Scabby Queen by Kirstin Innes

Title: Scabby Queen

Author: Kirstin Innes

Length: 400 pages

Publisher: 4th Estate Books

Synopsis: Three days before her fifty-first birthday, Clio Campbell – one-hot-wonder, political activist, life long-love and one-night stand – kills herself in her friend Ruth’s spare bedroom. And, as practical as she is, Ruth doesn’t know what to do. Or how to feel. Because knowing and loving Clio was never straight forward. To Neil, she was his great unrequited love. He’d known it since their days on the picket lines as teenagers. Now she’s a sentence in his email inbox: Remember me well. The media had loved her as a sexy young starlet, but laughed her off as a ranting spinster as she aged. But with the news of her suicide, Clio Campbell is transformed into a posthumous heroine for politically chaotic times. As word spreads of what Clio has done, half a century of memories, of pain and of joy are wrenched to the surface. Those who loved her, those who hated her, and those that felt both ways at once, are forced to ask one question: Who was Clio Campbell?

I absolutely loved the premise of this book. It was interesting and different, I’ve never read anything like it anyway.

I loved how you got to know every characters connection to Clio and also more about their life. With some of the characters she had intense relationships with, some she used to know and some she met for a day. It kept the story interesting and was such a great way to weave it together. They’ve all got such fascinating stories, especially ‘Sammi’s’, I was so engrossed in this one. It could’ve been a book all on its own.

It was full of fantastic characters, with Clio being the main one. She was so layered and complex. I’m not sure if I particularly liked her, but I don’t think you needed to. You could feel her stubbornness and vulnerability. I always got the sense that she didn’t quite know who she was, so we as the reader could never be sure and it made for fantastic reading. She was just so real. Not many authors manage to write characters as real as Clio, but Kirstin Innes has done it. I read this book a while ago, and I can say that I haven’t forgotten Clio and you won’t either.

Although though this book deals with heavy issues, such a drugs, death, politics and suicide. It was a quick read. It’s just got so many layers to keep you interested, that you never want to put it down. It’s also got a lot of heart and it’s got something to say and I always like that in a book.

Kirstin does such a fantastic job writing all these different characters and giving them there own voice. I can find books with this many perspectives in to be a bit tedious but it didn’t happen with this book. I also enjoyed the way some of them connected. Kirstin has written a book that it is totally immersive. If you’re like me you’ll get totally wrapped up in Clio’s story.

I really do recommend this book. It’s a fantastic with great storytelling and brilliant characters.

Thank you to 4th Estate Books for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out July 23rd.

Until the next review

JTH

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