Eimear McBride – The Lesser Bohemians (5 stars)

The follow up to A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing doesn't disappoint

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The Lesser Bohemians – Eimear McBride

Fans of Eimear McBride's Joycean debut A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing – the book that famously sat in a drawer for ten years then went on to win the Baileys, the Desmond Elliot, the Goldsmiths and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize – will not be disappointed with her latest effort, The Lesser Bohemians.

Told in McBride's structure-defying stream-of-consciousness-style prose, Bohemians is the story of a young woman who makes her way to London for drama school, shedding virginity and Catholic guilt along the way. McBride takes a sinister pairing of an older man and younger woman (38 to her 18) and makes of it a complex and rich portrait of first love. Surprisingly tender for all the sex and violence in it, The Lesser Bohemians shows off McBride's strength as a writer. The book shines thanks to her beautiful writing, but also in the way it cuts to the quick of a young woman's innermost thoughts. It stays with you, and bears rereading.

Out Thu 1 Sep, published by Faber.

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