“Tell Me Everything” by Sarah Salway

Date finished: 23rd March 2011

The book starts with a young woman recalling the time she told her story to her biology teacher, and several years later she is still dealing with the repercussions. Molly now finds herself boarding above a stationary shop in return for telling her stories to the owner, Mr Roberts, and as she tells her stories, she gradually comes to realise she can create herself a new life from them.

The wonderful thing about the two novels I’ve read by Salway are that they read like a whole raft of short stories entwined to tell the narrative of the overarching tale. In Tell Me Everything, she develops complex, and sometimes ambiguous, characters who beguile and charm the reader. What appears at face value to be a simple tale, Molly’s story gradually reveals itself to be much more perplexing and even at times, quite unsettling. It makes you think about what you’re reading, unravel the information Molly reveals, and consider what the reality and the intentions of the other characters might be. Despite all that, it’s actually a very readable book. I found it both funny and sad, and because Salway has such affection for her characters, full of warmth and very engaging.

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