While People Person contains several madcap plot turns and implausible red herrings, it is anchored in emotional realism and a hopeful warmth...The novel is highly empathic towards its characters’ struggles to accept the indelible failings and traumatic legacies of their childhood and regain agency over who they are and how they want to be...Ultimately, this is a delightful, uplifting and emotionally satisfying novel about building new connections in the face of deep-rooted abandonment wounds and hideous disappointment...The Pennington siblings may never get the paternal love and approval they so crave – but they have each other, and that’s more than enough.
... a tender, heartfelt portrait of a family struggling to cooperate with one another in the strangest of circumstances. People Person is a light, darkly funny, and highly entertaining read, with cracking dialogue and a cast of fully formed, beautifully rendered characters. Full of the same wise observations and social commentary as Carty-Williams’ first novel, Queenie, People Person is an immersive, joyful and deeply satisfying read. I believe Sara Collins summed it up best: ‘Cyril Pennington is a character for the ages, but this story truly belongs to the children he never managed to parent. I loved it.’ Candice Carty-Williams is indeed a talent to greatly admire. I cannot wait to see what she does next.
... immersive ... Carty-Williams excels at taking us inside the heads of unpolished, vulnerable, flawed characters ... Along with getting deeply involved in the Penningtons’ shenanigans, readers may well catch unnerving glimpses of themselves in the pages ... The novel also has a strong sense of place – it is clear the author’s heart has always been rooted in south London ... The author brilliantly portrays the bonds, and jostling, found among African diasporas who have made the UK, and namely south London, their home ... This is a highly personal book – Carty-Williams has explained it was born of a conversation between her and her older sister Selena around sibling loyalty – and the world of the Penningtons is infused with humour. Their interactions are so well-observed, you’ll wonder whether the Queenie author has been eavesdropping on your conversations with your own siblings ... A gripping study of the intangible nature of sibling bonds, then – and what you might do for someone you share little more than DNA with.