Wednesday 2 January 2019

The Price of Belonging, Naomi Landy

When nature-loving Sylvie moves to LA to be with her film star boyfriend she finds herself isolated. Jackson’s friends thinly veil their contempt of her and she realises what a shallow world it is that Jackson inhabits. The one person who shows her any kindness is Rory, but the comfort found in him comes with a sting. As she attempts to help him through a crisis she puts her own wellbeing and relationship at risk. It is uncomfortable watching their friendship unfold, fearing he will reject her when life starts picking up for him. It is a sign of the deep-rooted kindness in Sylvie that she loyally weathers the storm with him. The emotions, the need to help, are visceral and the reader becomes completely absorbed in this intense friendship.

Landy expertly dissects the challenges of romantic relationships as Sylvie struggles to carve out a life for herself in a city that is so devoid of the things that matter to her. Although her situation is not one many of us will experience, the fundamentals of a relationship are relatable regardless of who it’s with. The challenges and triumphs are realistically drawn and the characters feel very real from the start, making for an absorbing read.

An impressive debut that you won’t want to put down.

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