Whoooosh! This story of twins Ali and Tulip trying to work out why their mum’s new boyfriend has turned her into a ‘zombie robot’ never lets up from page 1. It’s got a lovely multi/ethnic cast of characters (I especially like Momo, the taxi driver), lots of jokes and a nice way of working medical knowledge into the plot (the girls’ Mum is a surgeon and so they know their first aid).
There’s also a serious element (Momo came from a war zone when he was 14; the girls help a woman who’s collapsed in the train) that absolutely doesn’t overwhelm the story, but adds an extra layer to the book. It’s a nice combination.
(I note that Ms Farooki, who was born in 1974, studied Politics and Economics at Oxford, worked for Arthur Andersen and then Saatchi & Saatchi and JWT before turning to fiction full-time. Also married with four children, she must obviously have decided that her days weren’t full enough, because she has since qualified as a junior doctor. Mulling this over and regarding my own small contribution to the literary world, I think it may be time to go and lie down somewhere dark. And rather quiet.)