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Bernard and Pat Reviews

Bernard and Pat by Blair James

Bernard and Pat

Blair James

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Corsair
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publication date: 4 Feb 2021
ISBN: 9781472155269

This powerful UK debut from young writer Blair James is an intense reading experience: disturbing and caustic, BERNARD AND PAT is a novel about childhood, memory, sexual awakening and abuses of power

4 stars out of 5
Lucy Knight
21 Feb 2021

"James deftly blends the older Catherine’s voice with the naive young Catherine of her memory"

The formatting of this powerful debut makes it look more like a poetry collection than a novel: short sections of text are given bold, capitalised headings such as “BIRTH” and “SWISHY SWASHY”. This approach is Blair James’s way of representing childhood memories and how we remember them in hazy snippets. This could be jarring, but James never loses sight of the story, which looks at the confusing and sometimes abusive relationship the narrator Catherine had with her childminders Bernard and Pat. 

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