10,976 book reviews and counting...

Girl With Dove Reviews

Girl With Dove by Sally Bayley

Girl With Dove: A Life Built By Books

Sally Bayley

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: William Collins
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 17 May 2018
ISBN: 9780008226855

`The word "mesmerising" is frequently applied to memoirs, but seldom as deservedly as in the case of Girl With Dove' Financial Times `Reading is a form of escape and an avid reader is an escape artist...' Brilliantly original, funny and clever Honor Clark, Spectator, Book of the Year

3 stars out of 5
1 Feb 2019

"the blend of fictional and real voices forces the reader to question the reality of Bayley’s childhood self and experience its slipperiness."

Her own childish impressions and thoughts are interspersed with those of her imaginary friends and with long quotations from her chosen novels. It is difficult to keep up at times, but the blend of fictional and real voices forces the reader to question the reality of Bayley’s childhood self and experience its slipperiness. Events are hazy but she finally escapes from her brutal, chaotic home by putting herself into the hands of doctors and social workers. Her author biography tells us that she is the first person brought up in the Sussex County Council care system ever to go to university.

Reviews

3 stars out of 5
23 Jun 2018

"To escape her deeply dysfunctional family, the young Sally Bayley retreated into library books and preserved her sanity"

The book is beautifully written and if you can ignore the explosion of questions it detonates in your mind at every turn and just let its poetic rhythms lap over you and wear you into a slightly different shape from the one in which you began, that is probably the best way. But it left me longing for more of Bayley’s recollections from a place of relative tranquillity, a greater twist of the kaleidoscope to bring those fragments of childhood into a more distinguishable pattern. Facts can provide a vital torque.