Lisa Moore’s newest novel, Flannery, follows Flannery Malone, a 16-year old Newfoundlander, through her rapidly fading childhood. She’s burdened with the responsibility of keeping her family afloat because of her mother’s irresponsibility with money and, on top of everything, she has a huge school project coming due.
Flannery is Moore’s first Young Adult novel, but she keeps the fast pace and excitement of her last novel, Caught (which was short-listed for the 2013 Scotia Bank Giller Prize). Although written for a younger audience, the book still gives a fascinating character study of a young woman who is forced to grow up too quickly. Moore’s writing sounds like it was taken straight from a teenage girl’s mouth. There’s tension and drama as Flannery’s life-long friendship is threatened by a questionable romance involving a love potion and Moore takes you through all the pratfalls and mistakes that come with being a teenager. And the ever-present motif of due dates, whether for Flannery’s class project or bill collections, will make you think about all the stuff you have coming due. Flannery is a brilliant Young Adult novel — no matter how old you are.
Note: Reviewed from an advance reading copy.