Tennis Lessons
You know you're strange and wrong. You've known it from the beginning. This is the voice that rings in your ears. That worries you never say the right thing and you’re probably a disappointment to your parents. That you’re a far cry from pretty – and your thoughts are ugly too. It says no one will ever like you just as you are.But you know what it is to laugh with your best friend until your stomach hurts, to feel the first delicious tingles of attraction, to take exquisite pleasure in the goriness of your ingrowing toenail.There is a place for you out there. You just need to find it.TENNIS LESSONS is the unflinchingly honest story of one misfit and her uncertain journey to something like happiness. Stopping by each year along the way, she navigates disastrous dates, dead pets, crashed cars, best friends and lost loves. Susannah Dickey reminds us that we're all a bit weird. And that's just fine.

Tennis Lessons Details

TitleTennis Lessons
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 11th, 2020
PublisherDoubleday
ISBN-139780857526861
Rating
GenreFiction, European Literature, Irish Literature

Tennis Lessons Review

  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Another DNFed ARC - this wasn’t terrible, I just don’t have the time (or willpower) to finish average books which think they’re saying something profound anymore. 🤷🏼‍♀️
  • Stephen
    January 1, 1970
    thanks to netgalley and the publishers for a free copy in return for an open and honest review.found this coming of age novel interesting as the major character fumbles her way through life in a haze of alcohol and discovery and in some parts funny as we all search for a way in life no matter what mistakes are made.
    more
  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    In a roundabout/non-verbatim way, Susie Dickey said: a young female writer pens her coming of age novel before she writes the book she actually wants to write. This was that best book I've ever read in second person so I'm looking forward to seeing what Dickey does with that voice in the next novel and what it is she has to/wants to say.
    more
  • niri
    January 1, 1970
    Tennis Lessons is sparse yet compelling; unafraid of grossness or violence. The second-person voice is interesting, and forces a bit of empathy (I automatically tried to place myself in the main character's shoes). Not an easy read (it's often quite heavy), but I liked watching the main character grow into herself a little bit: living is hard, and Susannah Dickey knows it.
    more
  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    **Thank-you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.**This reads a lot like Saltwater, which debuted in May 2019. Both play around with structure, the text being broken up in to short snippets of weighted and prosodic prose. There’s lots of imagery and metaphors that play dangerously close to being purple prose. They both have young female narrators who in early adulthood are a bit lost, and pore over the minutiae of their average childhoods, every **Thank-you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.**This reads a lot like Saltwater, which debuted in May 2019. Both play around with structure, the text being broken up in to short snippets of weighted and prosodic prose. There’s lots of imagery and metaphors that play dangerously close to being purple prose. They both have young female narrators who in early adulthood are a bit lost, and pore over the minutiae of their average childhoods, everyday life, and the complicated relationships and histories of their parents.I found Tennis Lessons better than Saltwater in that it actually delivers a narrative through an artsy lens and it doesn't rely too heavily on poetic imagery, whereas Saltwater is so caught up in trying to be uber-poetic and linguistically clever, that it gets lost in its own pretentiousness. I think what will attract and engage a lot of readers is that it’s so ordinary, readers will be able to identify with the narrator. Irish/British girls who came of age between roughly 2006-2012 (give or take a year or two) will definitely have had similar experiences and I think this will be what endears the narrator and the story to them, especially given this is written in a rare second-person narrative. The book certainly smacks of my teenage years circa 2008. It also speaks to a collective generational mood: that there’s something wrong with us, life shouldn’t be this hard, so why is it? Overall it does read like the writer trying to make a meaningful experience out of the average, much like Saltwater does. Although to be fair to both writers, I’ve yet to read anything that really gets its teeth into millennial ennui without being lacklustre, and they’ve made attempts. Perhaps both Tennis Lessons and Saltwater are indicators of the style we can expect from an emerging generation of female writers, something I find interesting in a socio-cultural way but honestly I don’t enjoy the style enough to be excited about this.
    more
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Transworld and NetGalley for an advance e-copy of this title.I really enjoyed Tennis Lessons; it’s an endearing and strange look at being a young woman, growing up at roughly the same time as I did. Dickey’s prose is lyrical and flows beautifully; she makes several profound statements that make you stop and think. Nothing and everything happens, and having to piece some things together meant I engaged with the novel more, which made it an interesting and arresting reading experience. I Thanks to Transworld and NetGalley for an advance e-copy of this title.I really enjoyed Tennis Lessons; it’s an endearing and strange look at being a young woman, growing up at roughly the same time as I did. Dickey’s prose is lyrical and flows beautifully; she makes several profound statements that make you stop and think. Nothing and everything happens, and having to piece some things together meant I engaged with the novel more, which made it an interesting and arresting reading experience. I would highly recommend it and can’t wait to see what Dickey does next!
    more
  • Aimée
    January 1, 1970
    This debut novel has been hotly anticipated since it was announced last year. I inhaled it today. Tennis Lessons is a coming of age story which maps the changing landscapes of friendships from childhood through their twenties. Though this novel is fierce in its tackling of issues such as bodily autonomy, sexual violence and trauma.
    more
  • Laura King
    January 1, 1970
    When I think of certain passages of Tennis Lessons, my cheeks burn and my toes curl with embarrassment, because Susannah Dickey's account of the good, the bad and the ugly of growing up and feeling out of place excruciatingly real.The book follows the main character from the time she is three years old up until her late twenties, and never flinches away from things we prefer not to talk about, from conversations we were never supposed to hear to dark thoughts we can't unthink, from ingrown toena When I think of certain passages of Tennis Lessons, my cheeks burn and my toes curl with embarrassment, because Susannah Dickey's account of the good, the bad and the ugly of growing up and feeling out of place excruciatingly real.The book follows the main character from the time she is three years old up until her late twenties, and never flinches away from things we prefer not to talk about, from conversations we were never supposed to hear to dark thoughts we can't unthink, from ingrown toenails to blood clots, from times we were the victim to times when we were the bully.For me the strongest parts were when she was among her own peers, whether that was with her best friend or the people she outwardly were her friends but were her tormentors. Many teenage girls know about that balance, and whether the reader knows about this first hand or through observation these relationships felt painfully real. Moreover, I challenge anyone not to relate to how it feels to have a joke not land or say the wrong thing at the worst time, as this character so often experiences. However, her absurd and witty conversations with her friend are funny and heartwarming, as for all the bad luck she has with friends she struck lucky at least once. Similarly, though her parents relationship is fraught, it is clear that they love her so dearly. We watch the character stumble so many times and I genuinely felt for her while reading about unsatisfying to horrific sexual encounters and being completely certain something is wrong with her, and it made me quite emotional then towards the end of the book as she slowly but surely starts to find her place in the world, and starts to find out what it is like to be happy in her own skin.Not always an easy read, but something you will fly through, cringing and laughing all the way. Dickey is certainly a talent to watch.
    more
  • Lel Budge
    January 1, 1970
    Tennis Lessons is a coming of age tale with a difference. Told by the main character from a young child through to adulthood and all the dramas she experiences.To me, it felt like I was listening to her inner thoughts, her internal commentary of daily life from her periods, body hair and odour, Body image, an ingrowing toenail and to the one friend who gets her and her weird humour. It’s heartbreaking at times and heartwarming as she gradually accepts herself and finds her place in the world. It Tennis Lessons is a coming of age tale with a difference. Told by the main character from a young child through to adulthood and all the dramas she experiences.To me, it felt like I was listening to her inner thoughts, her internal commentary of daily life from her periods, body hair and odour, Body image, an ingrowing toenail and to the one friend who gets her and her weird humour. It’s heartbreaking at times and heartwarming as she gradually accepts herself and finds her place in the world. It touches on difficult subjects such as bullying and sexual experiences, good and horrific, living with trauma and death.I loved every minute of Tennis Lessons, it’s beautifully written, brutally honest and packed with so many relatable moments that made it an emotional read. A must read.Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour, for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.
    more
  • Emma Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Tennis Lessons is a coming of age story. A young woman recounts short clips from her childhood through to her adult life. There are no filters on this, no rose tinted recollections or awkward parts removed, but the story is told in such an endearing style that you somehow need to be a witness to this. The main character is brutally honest about the most intimate parts of growing up. It is written in the second person, with an unnamed character, and I found this made the book more personal.I love Tennis Lessons is a coming of age story. A young woman recounts short clips from her childhood through to her adult life. There are no filters on this, no rose tinted recollections or awkward parts removed, but the story is told in such an endearing style that you somehow need to be a witness to this. The main character is brutally honest about the most intimate parts of growing up. It is written in the second person, with an unnamed character, and I found this made the book more personal.I loved her interactions with a lifelong friend. Whenever things got too serious, a silly comment, a shared joke, or just a simple play on words would lighten the mood. This felt very welcome, and made an otherwise quite awkward character much more relatable and real.There are many areas explored that make the reader feel uncomfortable; bullying as a child, a funeral, periods, sexual encounters and drunken episodes. These are all so honest and raw that it is hard not to relate to them. Susannah Dickey writes about all of these with a sharp wit and careful approach. The most delicate of subjects with a sexual encounter is starkly void of any humour, taking a darker turn in an otherwise light hearted look at growing up. She does not dwell here, but gives enough to represent the truth of some young women’s experiences that are often not discussed amongst friends. This darker secret brings an undercurrent of sadness to the rest of the book whilst she takes a more rocky route on to adult life.I wanted the unnamed main character, with an awkward and very normal childhood, to find something to empower her in adult life. Then I realised that was something that would equally disappoint me for not being realistic. As the story ends some readers will always be left wishing for an alternative. I found the conclusion to be like walking away from an old friend, ready to hear more when we next bump into each other. As if the next instalment is yet to come from Susannah Dickey perhaps? I would love to read about how the next 10 years turned out.
    more
  • Eloise Robbertze
    January 1, 1970
    Tennis Lessons by Susannah Dickey is a beautiful, achingly depressing novel about the events that shaped the character’s life.I loved how, it being written in the 2nd person, the character speaks to you in a detached, almost ambiguous manner. It really pronounced the loneliness and heartache the character experienced. We know nothing about her, other than these fragmented pieces of her life, and I felt like that made me know everything about her. She is every young girl, navigating the often har Tennis Lessons by Susannah Dickey is a beautiful, achingly depressing novel about the events that shaped the character’s life.I loved how, it being written in the 2nd person, the character speaks to you in a detached, almost ambiguous manner. It really pronounced the loneliness and heartache the character experienced. We know nothing about her, other than these fragmented pieces of her life, and I felt like that made me know everything about her. She is every young girl, navigating the often hard and torturous journey to womanhood. I also loved that each chapter was a significant event during a year of her life, and as she got older the chapters got longer. The themes also grew in significance over the chapters: from small arguments to separation, from unacceptance of herself to unacceptance by her friends, from not knowing how her body works to abuse and unsatisfying relationships…This is true character development in a novel and I loved every page.It’s not a “beginning, middle, end” kind of story – and that makes it wonderful!#netgalley #tennislessons #susannahdickey #randomhouse
    more
  • Ruth
    January 1, 1970
    Tennis Lessons is told through a series of short snippets from the protagonist's life - from a small child up to nearly 30. She's a slightly odd teenager, bullied by one of her "friends" but remaining close to Rachel, and actually that friendship is one of the redeeming features of the book. Otherwise it's a relentless stream of failures, drunken vomiting, miserable sex (including rape) and having no idea where you fit in life or where you're going. Often I wanted to shake the protagonist hard, Tennis Lessons is told through a series of short snippets from the protagonist's life - from a small child up to nearly 30. She's a slightly odd teenager, bullied by one of her "friends" but remaining close to Rachel, and actually that friendship is one of the redeeming features of the book. Otherwise it's a relentless stream of failures, drunken vomiting, miserable sex (including rape) and having no idea where you fit in life or where you're going. Often I wanted to shake the protagonist hard, whilst also feeling very sorry for her. It's very well written and compelling, even whilst I was aware I wasn't particularly enjoying the book I found it difficult to put down. i'm not sure I'd recommend it as such, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it win awards.
    more
  • Angie
    January 1, 1970
    I found this book hard to describe. It brought up a lot of stuff for me that I'd long forgotten; about navigating youth and feeling "other". I really liked the layout and format. The only other book I can liken it to, in terms of style, is Carmen Maria Machado's "In The Dream House". Susannah Dickey has produced a strong debut in "Tennis Lessons". It's a relatively quick read with big themes and it certainly made me think. I suspect it will stay with me for some time. 
    more
  • Alice
    January 1, 1970
    Tennis Lessons, by Susannah Dickey, documents a number of episodes from across the life of an unnamed 29-year-old Northern Irish woman. They start at the age of three, forming a picture of her personality, her family and home, and her school and friends. We see her negotiate the battleground that is high school, experience an unspeakable traumatic experience and subsequent breakdown at the age of 17, and go through fits and starts in her 20s as she comes to terms with her awkward self and become Tennis Lessons, by Susannah Dickey, documents a number of episodes from across the life of an unnamed 29-year-old Northern Irish woman. They start at the age of three, forming a picture of her personality, her family and home, and her school and friends. We see her negotiate the battleground that is high school, experience an unspeakable traumatic experience and subsequent breakdown at the age of 17, and go through fits and starts in her 20s as she comes to terms with her awkward self and becomes who she’s meant to be.I’m really enjoying seeing more and more books coming out that reflect my experience as a Millennial (see also: Scenes of a Graphic Nature, by Caroline O’Donoghue) and a former awkward child (for example, The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone, by Felicity McLean), and this is a winner because it does both!The author’s descriptions of finding the other children have marked you out as strange and different for reasons you can’t fathom, realising you’ve grown out of being the smart one because everyone else catches up eventually, and being in your late 20s when you finally get a job you actually like are spot-on. She also captures the petty (and not-so-petty) cruelties of high school, the nice girls’ helplessness against the horrible ones, and the encroaching feeling that there’s something wrong with you really well.That probably makes this book sound like a self-indulgent misery-fest, but it’s actually really funny and comforting. There’s humour throughout the book, whether it’s the protagonist’s clever jokes that amuse adults but go unappreciated by other children (been there too…), the daft conversations between her and her best friend, or her ability to find laughs even in the darkest times. Her story affirms “it’s not just you who’s had these experiences” and “there’s no set timetable for life - so what if you didn’t get your dream job at 21, you got there in the end.”It also reminded me that my parents probably aren’t as disappointed as I always imagine, and that school doesn’t set the stage for the rest of your life: some people peak as teenagers and are never as successful or popular again, some bullies turn into perfectly pleasant adults, people you saw every day forget all about you and never even committed to memory the cringey scenes you still remember so vividly when you’re trying to get to sleep, and it’s a lot easier to discover and accept who you are when you’re older and less of a slave to your hormones and other people’s opinions.This book’s episodic, second-person format is unusual, but it really worked for me. After noticing the first few ‘you’s, I settled down and became accustomed to the fact that the narrator is addressing herself - much as I do inside my own head.The author’s use of selected scenes solves the problem of representing 30 years of someone’s life without getting bogged down. It reminded me of another book I really liked, Your Fault, by Andrew Cowan, which uses the same devices to take us through a self-examining character’s entire life. By doing so, both authors distil the protagonist’s personality and story, not unlike how autobiographers choose to write about the anecdotes and events they think best convey who they are and how they ended up where they did.The only criticism I have is that this approach left me wanting to spend more time with the character - this is quite a short book as it is, and the brevity of some of the scenes, particularly early on, left me with a feeling of scarcity. Tennis Lessons is funny, relateable and comforting. I just wish it had been longer!
    more
  • Beverley
    January 1, 1970
    https://beverleyhasread.wordpress.com/Tennis Lessons by Susannah Dickey is a coming of age novel set in Northern Ireland. We meet our unnamed protagonist as a child and again at various points through her childhood, teenage years and into her twenties. These snapshots draw a portrait of somebody uncomfortable in her own skin, somebody just on the outside of whatever is happening and somebody who struggles to fit in.It is an authentic portrayal of what I think most women feel growing up. Teenage https://beverleyhasread.wordpress.com/Tennis Lessons by Susannah Dickey is a coming of age novel set in Northern Ireland. We meet our unnamed protagonist as a child and again at various points through her childhood, teenage years and into her twenties. These snapshots draw a portrait of somebody uncomfortable in her own skin, somebody just on the outside of whatever is happening and somebody who struggles to fit in.It is an authentic portrayal of what I think most women feel growing up. Teenage years are tough, especially when you’re not the popular one, or the funny one or the pretty one. If you’re the introspective one, or the one who reads, or overthink, or overshares, life, especially at school can be a difficult place. Throw in a mother who suffers with depression and parents in an unhappy marriage and things for our protagonist are pretty miserable.Written in the second person it almost felt like I was reading back on my memories and recollections. It was a immersive reading experience and I found it quite intense at times, especially given some of the subject matter which is quite tough on occasion. It was quite difficult to read and I had to put the book down and take a breather. This isn’t a criticism by any stretch of the imagination, it’s testament to the strength of writing that I found myself so emotionally invested in the narrative.None more so than when reading the authentic portrayal of female friendships, particularly at school. The intricate balance of being in a group of girls with a clear and distinct alpha when you’re the one who is likely to say the wrong thing. There are passages which are uncomfortable to read, especially when it comes to the viciousness of teenagers. But then, there is the pure and lovely friendship between our protagonist and Rachael.This friendship is written so beautifully, with Rachael being the only person who really understands her friend. It isn’t all flowers and rainbows though, when something horrific happens she doesn’t confide in anybody, least of all Rachael and it is this event which sends everything on a downward spiral.A book about growing up, about learning who you are, about friendships, family, being comfortable in your own skin and finding your place in the world, Tennis Lessons is a searingly honest novel. I loved the narrative structure and the use of second person and I really loved the protagonist. Highly recommended.
    more
  • Ashwini Abhyankar
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK for giving me a chance!Now, onto the book. For a book that is just over two hundred and fifty pages, I sure took my time finishing it. It’s just…second person is not something I will ever be comfortable with, I think. The concept is something I thoroughly got interested in and the author really made a great try at it.The story is about a young girl growing up and fumbling through the many obstacles and weirdness that is just being a teenager. I enjoyed the Thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK for giving me a chance!Now, onto the book. For a book that is just over two hundred and fifty pages, I sure took my time finishing it. It’s just…second person is not something I will ever be comfortable with, I think. The concept is something I thoroughly got interested in and the author really made a great try at it.The story is about a young girl growing up and fumbling through the many obstacles and weirdness that is just being a teenager. I enjoyed the story style, it’s staggered and more like snippets shared from a life than the actual life. Considering the main character, I think it really works well. The feeling of being lost while just stepping into the adulthood is something a lot of people can relate to and it’s written well.Sometimes the writing got a bit too…fancy which, I don’t think, matched the overall tone of the book but that’s not to say the book doesn’t flow well. It was just a bit jarring sometimes. I think that I am not ever gonna be a fan of second person POV and that’s one of the main problems I had with this book. That’s on me and not the book, perhaps. I can’t stay completely objective about the book if I am to say what pleased me and what didn’t.I think a lot of people will certainly be able to relate to quite a number of things that the main character goes through. The friendships and how the young woman navigates through all that is something I really felt in my heart. Gosh, I think, we are a few generations who are still wondering why our life is so messed as it is now and how we are going to actually come out of it or a worse question, will we come out of this mess.Overall, I really enjoyed the way the story unfolded, the feeling of not being good enough or being like ‘normal’ is something we are all familiar with in our way. So this will be an interesting read for that reason alone.
    more
  • Sarah Tebb
    January 1, 1970
    Lucky enough to receive an ARC of this from Net Galley. What a fascinating book. I absolutely loved this inner monologue style recordings of growing up and what it is to navigate your childhood, teenage years and early twenties as a young female. Written in the 2nd person, I was drawn instantly into the story and at points it felt as if Dickey had written down my thoughts and memories from this time. Beautifully stitched together, this story follows the pains of what happens in our main characte Lucky enough to receive an ARC of this from Net Galley. What a fascinating book. I absolutely loved this inner monologue style recordings of growing up and what it is to navigate your childhood, teenage years and early twenties as a young female. Written in the 2nd person, I was drawn instantly into the story and at points it felt as if Dickey had written down my thoughts and memories from this time. Beautifully stitched together, this story follows the pains of what happens in our main character's life in contrast to what she imagined it to be.Expertly written, you feel as if you've been allowed access into the depths of someone's innermost private thoughts and feelings. Also Dickey isn't afraid to tell it how it is, this is not a romantic rose tinted look at childhood, she writes about significant moments (first period, first sexual encounters) in vivid detail and doesn't shy away from the explicit truths of these moments. I raced through this book and throughly enjoyed it. One to recommend.
    more
  • Lou Barber
    January 1, 1970
    Tennis Lessons tells the story of a young girl growing up and trying to navigate her way through a life that is confusing and often, frightening. Written as a series of memories, it is shockingly honest, and terribly sad in places. She is dealing with her mother's mental illness, her father's affair, her own brutal sexual assault, and feeling like she is an aberration. The only light relief comes in the form of her friendship with Rachael, with whom she can be weird and feel accepted for it. She Tennis Lessons tells the story of a young girl growing up and trying to navigate her way through a life that is confusing and often, frightening. Written as a series of memories, it is shockingly honest, and terribly sad in places. She is dealing with her mother's mental illness, her father's affair, her own brutal sexual assault, and feeling like she is an aberration. The only light relief comes in the form of her friendship with Rachael, with whom she can be weird and feel accepted for it. She recounts early sexual experiences that leave her feeling cold and unaroused. She feels that there must be something wrong with her, and that her parents are ashamed and disappointed of the person she is. I loved the brutal honesty of her thoughts, those intrusive thoughts that we all have at times, but are not often written about. Whilst this was at times dark, there was however a note of optimism as this young woman begins to find her place in the world and accept that perhaps oblivion is not what she seeks after all.
    more
  • Bookishly
    January 1, 1970
    I was primarily drawn to Tennis Lessons based on the endorsement by Louise O’Neill, author of the stunning decidedly dark narratives Only Ever Yours and Asking For It. Both have complex, flawed yet sympathetic female protagonists at their centres. Raw? Fierce? Shockingly honest? Tennis Lessons was entirely lacking for me in this regard. I was intrigued by the first third, which moves through snatches of time from the female narrator’s third birthday up to her late teens and into her early twenti I was primarily drawn to Tennis Lessons based on the endorsement by Louise O’Neill, author of the stunning decidedly dark narratives Only Ever Yours and Asking For It. Both have complex, flawed yet sympathetic female protagonists at their centres. Raw? Fierce? Shockingly honest? Tennis Lessons was entirely lacking for me in this regard. I was intrigued by the first third, which moves through snatches of time from the female narrator’s third birthday up to her late teens and into her early twenties. Sadly the remaining novel stays with the excruciatingly unpleasant narrator during her self-destructive years but without any sense of her learning anything along the way. It’s just one horrible experience after another with no indication that the narrator has any motivation at all to make things better for herself. I’m sorry to say that I found this to be completely vacuous.
    more
  • Emma L
    January 1, 1970
    Tennis Lessons is a no holds barred journey through childhood and adolescence into adulthood. It’s a honest depiction of growing up, initially through a child’s eyes, into the horrors of navigating the teenage years and beyond. The main character is quirky and socially awkward, but manages to form a long lasting friendship with Rachael at High School. After a traumatic experience at the age of seventeen, her life goes off the rails until she manages to right herself and continue onwards. There a Tennis Lessons is a no holds barred journey through childhood and adolescence into adulthood. It’s a honest depiction of growing up, initially through a child’s eyes, into the horrors of navigating the teenage years and beyond. The main character is quirky and socially awkward, but manages to form a long lasting friendship with Rachael at High School. After a traumatic experience at the age of seventeen, her life goes off the rails until she manages to right herself and continue onwards. There are many highs and lows within this book, and every reader will find something they can relate to within the pages. Not all parts of the story are easy to read, but it’s authenticity is derived from this approach.
    more
  • Violet
    January 1, 1970
    Writing a whole coming-out-of-age novel in the second person is a bold choice but Susannah Dickey makes it work. Following the main character from her third birthday until her late twenties, you go through all the heartaches, pains, disappointments, weird thoughts... with her and the writing style puts you right inside her head. A lot of the book was quite bleak (some sexual encounters will make you deeply uncomfortable, if not outraged), but a lot of it was very tender - her friendship with Rac Writing a whole coming-out-of-age novel in the second person is a bold choice but Susannah Dickey makes it work. Following the main character from her third birthday until her late twenties, you go through all the heartaches, pains, disappointments, weird thoughts... with her and the writing style puts you right inside her head. A lot of the book was quite bleak (some sexual encounters will make you deeply uncomfortable, if not outraged), but a lot of it was very tender - her friendship with Rachael, her mother, her father - I found it very moving. (Free copy sent by NetGalley)
    more
  • Caitrín Nic Pháidín
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book in a single day, I couldn’t put it down. The writing style is masterfully done and the author communicates the “coming of age” experiences, and the emotions that accompany it, so beautifully. At times, it is difficult to read. Dickey expresses female experiences and thoughts rawly and honestly. A must read! I envisage this book becoming very popular and for good reason! I can’t wait to see what she does next.
    more
  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely stormed through this book and loved it. A kind of Eimear Mcbride meets Sally Rooney that made me laugh out loud in places. Susannah Dickey has three poetry collections out and you can really tell in the way that every word has a kind of deliberate quality to it. The dialogue between the narrator and her best friend was incredible.
    more
  • Tasnim
    January 1, 1970
    Tennis Lessons by Susan ah Dickey, was a dark and brutally honest coming of age story. The characters were weird and wonderful. The writing was in second person. Overall, the book made me feel uneasy and entranced at the same time. Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for the ecopy of the book for review.
    more
  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    The best thing about this coming of age novel is the writing style, written in 2nd person perspective throughout you are drawn into the character, completely immersing yourself in their world. Dickey has done such an excellent job, I can’t wait to see what comes next. As for a storyline, this book spans over so many years and yet so little happens. It’s one of those books that are completely engrossing however you can’t really describe it. The characters are very relatable and that is what gives The best thing about this coming of age novel is the writing style, written in 2nd person perspective throughout you are drawn into the character, completely immersing yourself in their world. Dickey has done such an excellent job, I can’t wait to see what comes next. As for a storyline, this book spans over so many years and yet so little happens. It’s one of those books that are completely engrossing however you can’t really describe it. The characters are very relatable and that is what gives this novel its edge. It’s like reading over your old high school memories. I’ve given it 3/5 as it is fairly slow paced and at times cliche but it’s a very good novel to lose yourself in. The nostalgia I got from reading it was so well done, just wish there was more of it.
    more
  • Rhonda Lomazow
    January 1, 1970
    A wild read a coming of age following this woman from childhood through her twenties.Raw real graphic drew me right in could not put down. A book that stays with you even after you finish the last page,#netgalley#randomhouseuk
  • katie
    January 1, 1970
    It unpicks the ordinary, seemingly insignificant moments in a girl’s life & shows how they can be surprisingly defining. So warm, witty & relatable. It unpicks the ordinary, seemingly insignificant moments in a girl’s life & shows how they can be surprisingly defining. So warm, witty & relatable.
    more
  • CwtchUpBooks
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully messy and complicated, confusing and honest and full of life.
  • Kirra (thebooksofkirra)
    January 1, 1970
    The first pages were confusing and uncomfortable and I wasn't quite sure this book was for me. It's unique writing style, the way it felt like it was skimming over necessary details and the jumping between years and months, like days. But once you get through the adjustment period, you begin to understand the sheer depth of adolescent and adult issues and thoughts that are portrayed so well. I had thought this book was about nothing, but it's really about everything. The emotion and low self est The first pages were confusing and uncomfortable and I wasn't quite sure this book was for me. It's unique writing style, the way it felt like it was skimming over necessary details and the jumping between years and months, like days. But once you get through the adjustment period, you begin to understand the sheer depth of adolescent and adult issues and thoughts that are portrayed so well. I had thought this book was about nothing, but it's really about everything. The emotion and low self esteem that lie behind the words, is incredibly powerful and this simply just must be read.
    more
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    An unusual, intense, bildungsroman. It's not easy to pull off the second person narrative style convincingly, but Susannah Dickey very much does. It feels like she's speaking to you directly, maybe from under a duvet, in hushed tones of intimacy.The narrator is unnamed and she decribes her unhappy school days (with a horrible bully), her unsatisfactory teens, her unexpected failure to achieve her academic potential, her awkward and unfulfilling consensual sexual encounters, the unexpected and fr An unusual, intense, bildungsroman. It's not easy to pull off the second person narrative style convincingly, but Susannah Dickey very much does. It feels like she's speaking to you directly, maybe from under a duvet, in hushed tones of intimacy.The narrator is unnamed and she decribes her unhappy school days (with a horrible bully), her unsatisfactory teens, her unexpected failure to achieve her academic potential, her awkward and unfulfilling consensual sexual encounters, the unexpected and frightening non-consensual ones. Her gradual realisation that she is emerging butterfly-like into a world that she might survive in.Somehow she prevails. An unusual book, sometimes self-consciously literary, but mostly lyrical and engaging. I'd love to read more from this author.
    more
Write a review