Book review: Mo Said She Was Quirky, By James Kelman


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The Independent Culture

In his first London-set novel, and first with a heroine at its heart, Kelman comes up trumps.

Glaswegian single mother Helen works nights in a West End casino - both a metaphor for winner-takes-all metropolitan life and keenly observed real workplace.

She gambles on happiness with a Muslim boyfriend, "ordinary Londoner" Mo. Although past pain and present danger lurk, Kelman brings gentle humour and profound compassion to his tale of getting by in an unjust time and place, where "if the cards turned that way it was like bust, you were".