Kith and Kin by Stevie Davies

Kith and Kin

Stevie Davies

Mara reflects on her relationship with her cousin Francesca, her alter ego, a wild child killed by the Sixties - or was it murder with an undertone of incest? The ambiguities and half-said aspects of her recollections create an uneasy tension about her truthfulness as teller. Perhaps this is to do with the self-deception and self-blame experienced by the bereaved of those of die young.

Extract

Francesca's in the room with us now. The voice often fails to hit the right note, but she makes a virtue of wrong notes, thrusting them out at you, polishing nothing, pretending nothing. You can hear the faulty breathing, her breath husky with smoke. A singer using her own gut for strings. This is for real. And how can Aaron pretend to himself that the person who sang this way could ever be at peace? Dead, yes; at peace, no. The qualms I have involve the knowledge, which I'm trying to transfer to Aaron, that we were part of the team of butchers. In the end she's just bellowing and screaming, and the only words I can make out are 'Shootin' up, shootin' up!'

Parallels
  • Instances of the Number 3 by Salley Vickers
  • The Afterglow by Anthony Cartwright
  • What the Birds See by Sonya Hartnett

Books with similar mood

Talk of the Town

Jacob Polley

Night Watch

Malin Lindroth

In the Distance

Hernan Diaz

Double Vision

Tricia Sullivan

Astonishing Splashes of Colour

Clare Morrall

Altered Land

Jules Hardy

The Intuitionist

Colson Whitehead

We That Are Young

Preti Taneja

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver

At Swim, Two Boys

Jamie O'Neill

Falling Out of Cars

Jeff Noon

The Crusader

Michael Eisner

Speak No Evil

Uzodinma Iweala

From a Low and Quiet Sea

Donal Ryan

The Accident on the A35

Graeme Macrae Burnet

The Return

Dulce Maria Cardoso

An Honorable Man

Paul Vidich

Greenfly

Tom Lee

Bumping

Tony Bianchi

Oystercatchers

Susan Fletcher

My Name Was Judas

C K Stead

Walk the Blue Fields

Claire Keegan

Mister Pip

Lloyd Jones

Blood Data

Lury. Gibson

First Fruits

Penelope Evans

The Little Green Man

Simon Armitage

Lucifer

Michael Cordy

Ridin an Risin

Jacob Ross and Andrea Enisuoh (eds)

Telling Liddy

Anne Fine

A Girl Returned

Donatella Di Pietrantonio

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Olga Tokarczuk

Cove

Cynan Jones

The Prophets of Eternal Fjord

Kim Leine

The Spider King's Daughter

Chibundu Onuzo

Caribou Island

David Vann

The Godless Boys

Naomi Wood

The Bad News Bible

Anna Blundy

When Red is Black

Qiu Xiaolong

Missing

Karin Alvtegen

Warriors of the Rainbow

A D Harvey

Disquiet

Julia Leigh

Small Days and Nights

Tishani Doshi

The Association of Small Bombs

Karan Mahajan

The Architect's Apprentice

Elif Shafak

The Missing File

D A Mishani

San Miguel

T C Boyle

America Pacifica

Anna North

The Warsaw Anagrams

Richard Zimler

London and the South-east

David Szalay