It’s impossible not to be impressed by Kate Hamer’s expert control of language. There are whole passages of interior monologue that are worthy of being called prose poems...
Add a touch of witchcraft, failing mother-daughter relationships and more than a dash of horror and you have a clever, if not always convincing, tale.
Hamer writes beautifully about the complex and shifting dynamics between adolescent female friends. As Phoebe, believing herself to be as powerful as one of the witches in Macbeth, entices her friends into ever more perilous territory, Hamer brings the novel to a startling and powerful conclusion. Crushed is a richly imagined novel about the fine line between teenage friendship, passion and obsession.
As the crime element is perfunctory, it’s hard to tell what Hamer’s aim is — to unite the heady worlds of Megan Abbott and Virginia Woolf? Or a Northanger Abbey-like study of book-induced delusion? Not recommended for those with limited patience for hysterical teen monologuing.