Thirst by Kerry Hudson

Thirst is a joyous read despite its depiction of poverty, violence, abuse and deprivation. It is sliced through with warmth and fizzes with energy from start to finish, just as Hudson’s debut, Tony Hogan… did.

Security Guard Dave meets Alena when she shoplifts from the swanky London department store he works in. Both of them have been battered by life and they are, each in their own way, broken and desperately in need of kindness. And both have secrets.

Alena left her Siberian housing estate to journey to London where she hoped to find a better life. Dave has always dreamt of leaving his estate and travelling. Real life isn’t like that though and both have had their dreams destroyed. When they come together they are uneasy and wary. The things that have happened to Alena have transformed her. She’s had to psychologically armour herself. This is a story of love and redemption, but Hudson’s customary realism ensures there’s no fairy story guaranteed happy ever after. (I was holding out for a “maybe a bit content for a period of time” ending and nope, I won’t tell you if that happened or not.)

I raced through the book, eager to know what would happen. It’s an engaging, bright, beautiful novel with an important heart. Blimey, Kerry Hudson is good. 

Come back tomorrow to read Kerry’s answers to my Smash Lits questions.

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