We’ve picked Almost English by Charlotte Mendelson this time around, but there’s a good mix of second choices that you can find in May’s Alternate Reads, so we’ll likely discuss all of these a little bit at the next meet up!
Leilah has popped all reserved copies aside if you’d like to buy it from Waterstones Doncaster, so just tell the staff member that you’re with the book club, and they should know to take off the extra pound, disclaimer.
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013 and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014
“Home is a foreign country: they do things differently there…”
In a tiny flat in West London, sixteen-year-old Marina lives with her emotionally delicate mother, Laura, and three ancient Hungarian relatives. Imprisoned by her family’s crushing expectations and their fierce unEnglish pride, by their strange traditions and stranger foods, she knows she must escape. But the place she runs to makes her feel even more of an outsider.
At Combe Abbey, a traditional English public school for which her family have sacrificed everything, she realises she has made a terrible mistake. She is the awkward half-foreign girl who doesn’t know how to fit in, flirt or even be. And as a semi-Hungarian Londoner, who is she? In the meantime, her mother Laura, an alien in this strange universe, has her own painful secrets to deal with, especially the return of the last man she’d expect back in her life. She isn’t noticing that, at Combe Abbey, things are starting to go terribly wrong.