by Heather O’Neill

#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 5: set in a city that has hosted the Olympics (Montreal)
Wow – this book is marvelous and awful, touching and depressing, hopeful and filled with sad despair. It’s a cracker!

There is something deeply moving and heart wrenching when an author gets a child’s voice perfect – and then puts the worst words and ideas into that voice. O’Neill does this much too well for comfort.

We learn about the awfulness and the simple pleasures of pre-teen Baby’s life as she deals with the most disturbing circumstances. The characters are all very real and even those making horrible decisions (I am looking at you Jules, Baby’s father) are human and complex enough to really care about.
(The pimp less so – admittedly – but what do you expect really.)

The way Baby bounces between pretend adulthood and little girlness just shattered me. Imagine rehearsing lines in your head for a school play while turning a trick! A sex workers in little girl underwear. It is enough to make you want to reach through the pages, and time and space, and hold onto every Baby that ever was.

Baby will linger; I know I am going to wonder every now and then how she is, before remembering she is fictional.

Outstanding book – just amazing