Cherney’s novel is a beautifully written account of Saskia Soyer’s downward spiral after her father’s death. The writing is fluid and buoyant; taking you from one part of Saskia’s story to the next. It isn’t an easy ride, however, as moments like Saskia’s encounters with Rick, substance abuse and Grey, the therapist who holds great influence over her siblings, prove to be unsettling, uncomfortable or downright frightening.
Saskia’s journey is brimming with darkness, light, hormones and hedonism but not one moment is unbelievable. Yes, some parts are crazy but others are incredibly normal; such as the family having no choice but to downsize when money gets tight. I think any adult can see a part of themselves in Saskia’s story because it isn’t just a coming-of-age novel, it’s also an exploration of grief.
Cherney reveals how grief appears in many ways, changes you in many ways and does not just apply to those who are dead. Saskia and her family grieve; they grieve for their late father, who they once were and what they once were.
Thus, whether you know New York or not, the fact Saskia goes looking for herself not realising she was ‘it’ all along is something we can all undoubtedly relate to, as well as raise a glass to the mess of our teenage years.