Debbie McGowan is an award-winning author of contemporary fiction that celebrates life, love and relationships in all their diversity. Since the publication in 2004 of her debut novel, Champagne—based on a stage show co-written and co-produced with her husband—she has published many further works—novels, short stories and novellas—including two ongoing series: Hiding Behind The Couch (a literary ‘soap opera’ centring on the lives of nine long-term friends) and Checking Him Out (LGBTQ romance). Debbie has been a finalist in both the Rainbow Awards and the Bisexual Book Awards, and in 2016, she won the Lambda Literary Award (Lammy) for her novel, When Skies Have Fallen: a British historical romance spanning twenty-three years, from the end of WWII to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967. Through her independent publishing company, Debbie gives voices to other authors whose work would be deemed unprofitable by mainstream publishing houses.
on Sep. 24, 2014 :
4 stars from me
Well, well, well, where do I start with reviewing this book?!
What a refreshing read it was, so different from anything that I've read for a long while and (as I currently work in a school) so very obviously written by a teacher as the observations of daily school life were absolutely spot on!
This is a short book, a novella, that can easily be read in an afternoon and is easy to dip in an out of as the chapters often signify a change of time or place.
It is quite hard hitting as a couple of the chapters do refer to child abuse, which I wasn't expecting. I guess this is by way of background for the future books in the series but for me it came a little from the left field as the book up until that point had been startlingly realistic yet quite light.
Having said that, the subject was sensitively handled (in my opinion) and was suggested at rather than being horrifically graphic and it really is only touched upon in a couple of places, it isn't the main focus of the book.
Moving on from that as I don't want to put anyone off reading it, just wanted to nod to the fact that it's there, the realism with the books is absolutely brilliant. The observations of school life and childrens' behaviour touches on being amusing and I'm pretty sure anyone who has worked in a school would absolutely love it!
(reviewed 32 days after purchase)