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Darling White is a black, single mother struggling to raise her disabled son and London during the aftermath of the Brexit vote. Amidst turmoil and unrest, she finds love with Thomas. A chance meeting leads to love leads to a very quick marriage. Darling and her son Stevie move in with Thomas and his teenage daughter Lola. Typically, daughter and step-mother clash, only Lola has a helping hand in taunting and threatening Darling. Lola becomes enmeshed in a growing group of right wingers via her latest crush at school. But it might not be them that brings Darling down, it may be her own past that catches up with her. We know from the beginning that this is a tale that is not going to end in a happily ever after.

 

This book fairly zips along and I was intrigued as to how this step-daughter/step-mother tail was going to play out. The weak area is definitely Thomas - he is not important to the story and the author can't hide her ambivalence to him. He is a ghost, a cypher and a shadow who flits in and out. He barely engages in the growing tension between his beloved daughter (is she beloved? We never really see or know that he loves his daughter apart from giving her a stupid cutesy nick name - her name being so close to Lolita is not lost on me), and his new wife apart from the initial 'sweep her off her feet', Cinderalla romancing. He placidly accepts the events in the denouement. He is a terrible character, merely there to bring Darling and Lola together. And the book suffers for this disregard.

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