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Review of The Lodgers by Holly Pester

What a strange and quirky piece of literary fiction. A woman with a particularly perceptive intellect moves into a flat opposite her mother‘s house and imagines the new lodger living in her old bedroom. This book was an intriguing insight into how we inhabit spaces and interact with others. It also made me consider how many people in their twenties can’t afford to buy their own property and so must become lodgers, what some might consider something of a parasite to a host. In such turbulent economic times, this was an honest story about the reality of renting and not feeling like you have a stable place to live. 

As she imagined the day to day life of the woman now living in her old bedroom, I began to wonder whether the book was written in a dual timeline. This theory lost its credibility, but the story kept me hooked as I was so captivated by the intensity of her imaginings. 

The first line completely sets the tone for the unique and introspective voice of the novel: “As a bored and nervous young girl I often imagined climbing inside a small case or container, like a piano stool or matchbox, a washing-machine drum or bread bin, and living in there.”

Reviewed by Victoria.

The Lodgers was published on 01/02/24 by Granta.

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