BOOK REVIEW / Paperbacks: Peerless Flats - Esther Freud: Penguin, pounds 5.99

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The Independent Culture
Hideous Kinky, Esther Freud's debut novel about being the child of Morocco-bound Sixties parents, charmed the socks off most reviewers. Peerless Flats, a sequel in all but name, finds 16-year-old Lisa, with her feckless mum and little brother, in a London council block whose unremitting greyness is a perfect metaphor for the depressive Seventies. Hardly anything happens - unless you count drug addiction, anorexia, a party to which Lisa forgets to invite anyone - but her faith that the Big Event is just around the corner remains undimmed. It's not the narrative that carries this novel, but the sheer pleasing vigour of its personality.