When 23-year-old Meggie meets her distant and enigmatic new coworker Sabine, she recognizes in her the person she would like to be. Meggie is immediately drawn to worldly, beautiful, and uninhibited Sabine; and when Sabine announces she's switching to the nightshift, Meggie impulsively decides to follow her. Giving up her daytime existence, her reliable boyfriend, and the trappings of a normal life, Meggie finds a liberating sense of freedom as she indulges her growing preoccupation with Sabine and plunges into another existence, immersing herself in the transient and uncertain world of the nightshift worker.
This portrait of friendship between a tantalizing but doomed young woman and her hooked admirer has a slightly creepy undertone reminiscent of Zoë Heller’s Notes on a Scandal and very well sustained suspense, so that the reader is never quite sure what either woman will do next. What it was to be young in London in the last months of the twentieth century is brought to life with a relish worthy of early Angela Carter. Above all, with an honesty not unlike Elena Ferrante’s in her searing novel, Days of Abandonment, Kiare Ladner recounts with absolute accuracy the lengths and depths to which some women will go in order to free themselves from whatever it is that binds them. This is a debut to be cherished.
Alluring ... Though some late revelations are unexpectedly disturbing given the lighter tone that precedes them, Ladner sustains a deliriously lurid rabbit hole for Meggie to go down as she fixates on her unreliable 'fairy tale friend' who she longs not only to know but also to be. The result is a tense and affecting tale of awakening.