Sunday 19 March 2023

Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent (2023)


Sally Diamond cannot understand why what she did was so strange. She was only doing what her father told her to do, to put him out with the rubbish when he died.

Now Sally is the centre of attention, not only from the hungry media and worried police, but also a sinister voice from a past she has no memory of. As she begins to discover the horrors of her childhood, recluse Sally steps into the world for the first time, making new friends, finding independence, and learning that people don't always mean what they say.

But when messages start arriving from a stranger who knows far more about her past than she knows herself, Sally's life will be thrown into chaos once again . . .

Strange Sally Diamond is the kind of book you will want to talk about after you've finished.
Initially, I thought Sally would be one of those fashionable characters like Eleanor Oliphant or Molly Grey; quirky and likely on the spectrum. We are told from the outset that Sally is autistic and that little slice of dark humour which brings the world's attention to her is enough to pull you into the story.  However, it quickly emerged into a very dark and uncomfortable read as we learned about Sally's background and her biological family. Sally was definitely not the strangest person in her world. 
A secondary character became more important to me than Sally and I was on tenterhooks to find out how he would turn out. But with a Liz Nugent book, you cannot take anything for granted and there were twists I didn't see coming.
This book was darker than my usual fare but as much as I was uncomfortable I was compelled to keep reading to the end.

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