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Isabel and Rocco

by Anna Stothard

A first novel from a young writer with obvious talent, exploring the ever disturbing and destructive relationship between a brother and sister who, as teenagers, are abandoned by their parents. Excellent in parts but the story lacked a certain something and the ending left me wanting to know more.

Extract

Walking through the streets where Rocco and I had created so many memories - the video store, the Chinese takeaway, the park benches where we sat and ate chips from greasy paper and watched Camden shuffle by in front of us - I reminded myself of how it had always felt like us against the entire adult world. Rocco hadn't betrayed me by not telling me when he worked out Dad, he'd only tried to save me. If I abandoned Rocco now I would crush our past into fairy dust. More than anything, more even than reality, happiness, practicality or morality, I loved him. I could spend the money on some sort of education, finish my exams, get a boyfriend. I'd leave and find a job, lead a normal life, but Rocco wouldn't be in it and I couldn't stand the idea of him not being the one to wake me up in the morning. I was dependent, if you like, as I'd always been, for better or for worse.

Parallels

The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan
Lord of the flies by William Golding
 

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