Set in Ireland, ‘The Girl In Between’ is a swift, but very poignant read. We meet a homeless mother and daughter, and it wasn’t until I started to write this review that I realised neither is actually named at any point. Their life on the streets has been truly horrific, with the girl trying to help her alcohol and drug addicted mother be stable. After a frightening incident on the streets, details of which are gradually revealed as the book progresses, they finally find an abandoned warehouse ‘the castle’ to squat in. Just outside is ‘The Caretaker’, also homeless, but with a terrible tie to the building. Ma gradually become more and more unstable, disappearing for hours at a time and terrified of being found by ‘the authorities’, she keeps her daughter hidden in the castle. However it becomes clear that it is due for development, and the threat gets closer day by day. Swinging between the recent past and the present, the girl observes life around the castle, which was closely observed and beautifully drawn.
This book has a twist at the end, which makes most of it make sense, although I am left puzzling about one sequence of events with the gift of a burger – but I can’t say exactly what without giving the twist away & I am not in the spoiler business!
A lovely, thought-provoking read.