Bloomsbury £7.99 (245pp) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
No and Me, By Delphine De Vigan
Friday 15 October 2010
This novel, written from the point of view of a homeless girl sleeping rough on the streets of Paris, has so far sold well over 120,000 copies abroad and is currently being adapted for film.
In Britain, it has attracted the Richard & Judy Book Club juggernaut, as well as having served as a BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime. Its success is not undeserved: translated by George Miller, the prose is crisp, finely pared-down and written in the present tense to give the story a tragic immediacy, lending itself to teenage as well as adult readers.
A 15-year-old girl, No is befriended by Lou, two years her junior, who persuades her parents to let this new friend stay in their home. Yet despite this acceptance, No remains troubled, and her outcome has a sad inevitability.
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