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Review of Temper by Phoebe Walker

Phoebe Walker's debut follows an unnamed young woman who's recently moved to the Netherlands with her husband. While he's out at his new 9-5 job, she freelances at home. Ostracized by the language barrier and a culture that doesn't understand or respect her way of working and living, she spends her days in isolated introspection until she meets the morbidly fascinating Colette who gets under her skin in a way in which she can't decide is good or bad. 

This is a story of transience and alienation that follows the seasons of the year and is told mostly through observation. Walker's prose is reminiscent of Rachel Cusk and Deborah Levy, a style I usually struggle to resonate with but here I found really quite mesmerising. The intimacy in her writing had me dog-earring the pages. I'd recommend reading in one sitting, preferably on a sticky hot afternoon in the sun.

Review by Abi.

Temper was published on 13/04/23 by Fairlight Books.

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