Acts Of Desperation by Megan Nolan
FRIDAY FAVOURITE – ACTS OF DESPERATION
A compulsive, caustic, darkly funny debut novel I have just inhaled is controversially going to be an IMMEDIATE Friday Fave because I loved it so ardently.
This book made me think a lot. We are blasted from a young age with messaging both overt and nuanced of the absolute requirement to find a Disney-esque love – portrayed as the pinnacle of success. @mmegannolan explores what impact that has on our protagonist, who draws her self esteem and value from the level of attention and affection she gets from others. In the world we live in today of likes and engagement stats this feels acutely relevant.
When she falls for the toxic Ciaran, an intense, all consuming relationship starts and abruptly ends leaving her to spiral. A “blistering anti-romance” looking at addiction to love and alcohol, gender, the use of violence and victimisation as a narrative device (SO FASCINATING), female passion and societal expectations, this is written so so well. The tone is confessional and conversational, raw and visceral, beautifully encapsulating the incongruences within so many of us. Nolan dissects our desires and ability to self-annihilate with a microscope, which matches her detailed observations that make these characters feel audaciously real.
With sinister undertones that build, we watch as the power dynamic shifts and how the disparity affects our unnamed narrator. I love that there is space for the reader to add to the story, though there was still a potent claustrophobic feeling- I wanted to leap right into the pages and drag her away at points.
Reminiscent of Rooney but with a darker, more complex edge, for me Acts of Desperation was utterly deserving of the hype and award nominations it is racking up (most recently long-listed for the @dylanthomasprize ). A year post publication it is now out in a boldly designed paperback from @vintagebooksand What. A. Cover. This will appeal to a huge range of readers and I would highly recommend it ~ Chaya
Ad:PR Thank you so much Vintage for sending over a copy
Order your copy here.