A Genie Called Vodka & Other Short Stories by Bob Summer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
**** 4 Cranky Stars ****
Aptly described as "six gritty stories reflecting the lives of those struggling against the odds", A Genie called Vodka & Other Short Stories is grim, but compelling reading. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down.
Filled with neglect, violence and abuse, Genie is a tough but insightful read: From the young brother trying to raise a little sister in the face of parental neglect, to the woman on the streets who was abused as a child and regrets her life, to the mentally ill young man, to the adult trying to restore the child inside, the girl who dreams of another life, but struggles in this one, and the young mother who tries to the best she can, but it's not good enough.
Set in the UK, the themes are universal and I recommend it to anyone, but especially people who work with or are interested in working with youth.
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