It involves a distressing mystery — the theft of a baby and another disappearance — and centres on three characters: demonstrative would-be actor Frankie; her super-organised best friend, JoJo; and her handsome ex-boyfriend, Ram. Told in their three voices, it makes us care about their relationships as they make emotional journeys through school, social and family life, and truths are revealed on the way to a denouement in a chain hotel in Swindon. It is a moral story about overcoming self-interest to look after others, and a compelling drama.
The novel dares to pose questions about maternity, biology and parenthood at a time when the nuclear family is being reconfigured. It culminates in a wild night out in Swindon during a thunderstorm, where the trio become heavily dependent on the kindness of random strangers. If some of the background characters feel merely sketched in, the central trio is well drawn, especially Frankie: headstrong, emotional, self-centred but extremely likeable for all that.
It is GCSe results day. Frankie's best friend Jojo has gone missing, a local baby has been stolen, and more than one person has been lying. Frankie, aided by ex-boyfriend Ram, is determined to discover the truth, and the two set out in search of Jojo. Williamson is on superb form here, combining a gripping narrative, told from the viewpoints of all three central characters, with a heartfelt story of complex friendships, first loves and new beginnings.