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Review of Talking at Night by Claire Daverley

Probably my favourite debut so far this year, Talking at Night is the stunning new novel from Claire Daverley. Lovers of Sally Rooney, Lily King, Coco Mellors and David Nicholls will devour this book, yet Daverley’s voice is undoubtedly her own and this novel brings us a tender heartfelt story which explores many of life’s core experiences - love, loss, self knowledge, family and death. 

Will and Rosie meet as teenagers and are inevitably drawn to one  another. Despite being total opposites (he a motorbikeriding badboy, she a musician with plans to go to Oxbridge), they connect. In moments of quiet and privacy they grow closer, yet a terrible tragedy throws them off course. Let me assure you that this is no romcom, Daverley's novel is about real life and real relationships with all of their flaws and messiness. I felt the role of Josh, Rosie’s brother, is a stroke genius in this book; he completely changes the trajectory of this story and on many occasions I was surprised, touched and heartbroken by the tale these three characters had to tell. 

Daverley uses exquisite language throughout; the text is sparing, which makes every word feel so intentionally chosen and precious as a result. I am a diehard literary fiction fan and I was delighted by this debut, but be prepared, there are parts of this book that will undoubtedly break your heart, before piecing it back together. 

Review by Helen.

Talking at Night was published on 06/07/23 by Penguin Michael Joseph.

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