Morgan McCarthy - The Outline of Love (3 stars)

Morgan McCarthy - The Outline of Love

Berkshire born author's second novel is an enjoyable coming of age story with a twist

Raised by her father in the Highlands, Persephone Triebold flees her lonely life for university in London. The sights and smells of the big city are evocatively described as Persephone throws herself headfirst into an alien world of female friendships and chasing boys. But she hungers for more – until she meets Leo Ford, one-time pop idol turned literary heart-throb. The closer they become, the more a taboo incident from Leo’s past consumes Persephone, who grapples to understand both the elusive Leo and herself.

She tries out different selves to find out who she really is, a malleable personality which isn’t always likeable. As Persephone often reaches lucidity through the opinions of others, the first-person narration is dialogue-heavy, a density compounded by the myth of her classical namesake, which is woven throughout. It is a parallel to the collision of worlds Persephone faces, an examination of the relationship between celebrity and the public, and a tender look at love. With gorgeous description and a gripping story, McCarthy’s second novel is an enjoyable coming of age story with a twist.

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