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This is a funny and strange family/coming-of-age novel narrated by a sixteen year old girl. Do not, however, think this qualifies as a YA book. This book contains strong language and sexual content. Lots of it.
There are numerous pranks, moments of angst, literary gimmicks and a noirish feel to this book. Barker places us in the midst of a family that under an ordinary setting would certainly be described as dysfunctional.
However, there is nothing ordinary about this group. Living in a no longer operating hotel on an island off the coast of England, the entire family (parents included) is in need of growing up. Of course, for such a need to be fulfilled, someone(s) would have to actually try to act like an adult.
The arrival of a mystery guest of the father's really gives the story a focal point. The interplay of the characters is 'real' within this setting - and this interplay is the meat of the book.
Barker's effort is both gritty and hilarious. The sparse writing style fits right in with the pace and action of the story. Enjoyable all the way through.