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Lullabies for Little Criminals

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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781780870991

Price: £11.19

Baby is twelve years old. Her mother died not long after she was born and she lives in a string of seedy flats in Montreal’s red light district with her father Jules, who takes better care of his heroin addiction than he does of his daughter. Jules is an intermittent presence and a constant source of chaos in Baby’s life – the turmoil he brings with him and the wreckage he leaves in his wake. Baby finds herself constantly re-adjusting to new situations, new foster homes, new places, new people, all the while longing for stability and a ‘normal’ life.
But Baby has a gift – the ability to find the good in people, a genius for spinning stories and for cherishing the small crumbs of happiness that fall into her lap. She is bright, smart, funny and observant about life on the dirty streets of a city and wise enough to realise salvation rests in her own hands.
(P)2008 Quercus Editions Ltd

Reviews

Told with shafts of wit and a lightness of touch which few novels on such themes achieve. Baby, like Holden Caulfield of Catcher in the Rye, is totally believable. Although few people suffer a childhood like hers, everyone can identify with her feelings, on the threshold of adolescence longing for stability and recognition
Times Literary Supplement
From feisty little Scout of To Kill a Mockingbird to Sissy Spacek's blank-eyed Holly in the film Badlands, Heather O'Neill draws on the annals of knowing child narrators to shape Baby's shabby, scrappy scrabble from broken home to detention centre to pimp's lap and back again. Scabrous humour and brutal insight fairly jolt each episode into life
Observer
Vivid and poignant . . . O'Neill's novel builds to a riveting climax . . . deeply moving
Independent
O'Neill bombards the reader with piercing observations and magical imagery . . . Her story is bleak, yet not bitter; full of pathos, spirit and, overwhelmingly, an iridescent innocence
Independent on Sunday
O'Neill's vivid prose owes a debt to Donna Tartt's The Little Friend. Baby's precocious introspection feels pitch perfect. Tear-jerkingly effective
Publishers Weekly
Dreamy prose . . . Baby's unique voice and the glimmer of hope provided by her intelligence and imaginative spirit live on in the mind long after you have closed the book
Waterstones Book Quarterly
Heather O'Neill's style is laced with so much sublime possibility and merciless actuality that it makes me think of comets and live wires
Helen Oyeyemi