When I reviewed Muriel Barbary’s ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’ I complained that the twelve year old narrator was overly precocious and her sections of the book lost credibility due to this.
The funny thing with Hideous Kinky , the narrator is a five year old who is both naive AND over verbal but this didn’t bother me at all! why?
Anyway the novel is about a British hippie mother who moves to Morocco in order to find spiritual peace. In the process she brings her two daughters, Lucy (5) and Bea (7) along with her, Hideous Kinky is told solely through Lucy’s eyes and we see that both children have an agenda as as well.
In Lucy’s case it’s the need for a father figure to keep her grounded, the fact that she latches on the every man her mother meets proves this. Bea, on the other hand, desperately wants to return to European civilsation and tries to keep those customs and towards the middle of the book rejects her mother’s ideas.
If you do want a spoiler, all three never end up satisfied and return to London.
Hideous Kinky is a very enjoyable book. I read it within a 24 hour period (which did mean stealing a chapter or two during work). I enjoyed the bits about Morocco and in a funny way Freud does capture that childish innocence with some humour. Apparently it’s also autobiographical.
If you do want to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon indoors, this si the perfect book to read. Short, to the point and a good overall story.