Biddy Weir is a quirky girl.
Abandoned by her mother as a baby, and with a father who’s not quite equipped for the challenges of modern parenting, Biddy lives in her own little world, happy to pass her time painting by the sea and watching the birds go by. That is, until she meets Alison Flemming.
Because there are a few things about Biddy that aren’t normal, you see. And Alison isn’t afraid to point them out to the world.
All of a sudden, Biddy’s quiet life is thrown into turmoil. If only there was someone to convince her that, actually, everyone’s a little bit weird…
A story of abuse and survival, of falling down and of starting again, and of one woman’s battle to learn to love herself for who she is.
What I Thought:
I’ll start this review with a warning – this book deals with some pretty harsh incidents of bullying and self-harm, so if this is something that you have experienced, it may be best to approach this book with caution.
That being said, The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir is a beautiful book which shows the harsh reality of being ‘a bit different’, but also gives Biddy a chance to speak up and pay back years of anguish – and that part of the book is absolutely delicious!
It is a tough read, as Biddy goes through some horrible stuff, and it’s just not fair – you can see she is a little girl whose circumstances are not her fault, but because she refuses to be awed by the most popular girl in school, she has to suffer for it. It’s a hard life for her as a child of an older, single parent, and yet she finds many things of beauty in the everyday, even if that’s splatters of bird poo. But, of course, for this difference she must be punished, and it goes way beyond what you would expect by saying ‘kids can be cruel’. What Biddy suffers is years of abuse and shame, which she comes to think is thoroughly deserved.
After one such episode, Biddy makes a tragic decision that affects the rest of her life, but in her later years she steps out of everything she has known and starts to make a friend, who is able to help her look at her past and take away the shame she has always felt about it.
It really is a lovely book if you’re looking for a story of an oppressed girl finding her feet and acheiving things she thought she didn’t deserve, thanks to her experiences as a child, but it is really tough to read those sections that deal with the bullying.
Very much recommended.
The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir is published by Bonnier Zaffre.
Please note: I received a copy of tis book via Netgalley for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.