Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Attend by West Camel, and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!
About the author:
Born and bred in south London – and not the Somerset village with which he shares a name – West Camel worked as an editor in higher education and business before turning his attention to the arts and publishing. He has worked as a book and arts journalist, and was editor at Dalkey Archive Press, where he edited the Best European Fiction 2015 anthology, before moving to new press Orenda Books just after its launch. He currently combines his work as editor at Orenda Books with writing and editing a wide range of material for various arts organisations, including ghostwriting a New-Adult novel and editing The Riveter magazine for the European Literature Network. He has also written several short scripts, which have been produced in London’s fringe theatres,
A highly anticipated debut, blending the magical realism of Angela Carter and the gritty authenticity of Eastenders
and was longlisted for the Old Vic’s 12 playwrights project. Attend is his first novel.
About the book:
When Sam falls in love with Deptford thug Derek, and Anne’s best friend Kathleen takes her own life, they discover they are linked not just by a world of drugs and revenge; they also share the friendship of the uncanny and enigmatic Deborah.
Seamstress, sailor, story-teller and self-proclaimed centenarian immortal, Deborah slowly reveals to Anne and Sam her improbable, fantastical life, a history of hidden Deptford and ultimately the solution to their crises.
With echoes of Armistead Maupin, Attend is a beautifully written, darkly funny, mesmerisingly emotive and deliciously told debut novel, rich in finely wrought characters and set against the unmistakable backdrop of Deptford and South London.
How to review a book like Attend by West Camel?? On first thoughts it seems pretty impossible and I have spent a long time after finishing it wondering about the words I could use that would do this extraordinary piece of writing the justice it deserves. Attend is like nothing I have read before and it is difficult to pin a genre on.
The main characters are Sam, Anne and Deborah – three very different people that are linked together by a familiar thread of loneliness. Sam is a young man looking for love and finding it in all the wrong places, Anne is a former addict struggling after returning to her home town with it’s bad memories and unforgiving family members, and Deborah…? Deborah is the magic thread that links them all together and helps Sam and Anne to see beyond their problems and resolve them. It appears that Deborah has been on her own for a very (very) long time and is surprised that the others can even see her! She is a calming influence in their turbulent times and they soon come to look to her for comfort and a listening ear. As much as Deborah is there to absorb she also imparts her fascinating life story; at times we are left wondering if they are the ramblings of an old lady who has lived on her own for too long but it soon becomes obvious there is far more to Deborah than meets the eye.
A truly magical read that will weave its way into your heart and soul!