When fifteen-year-old Becs meets Bracken, she is convinced she’s found her soul mate. So what if he’s much older? He understands her, she feels free with him and when he holds her she feels safe. But is she? Some young women in the area have been sexually assaulted. It’s the talk of the school. And when Bec’s best friend Mary-Jane becomes his latest victim, the true dangers hit home: just as Rebecca is starting to wonder about her future with Bracken – poor M-J rapidly shrinks away from life.
‘Pretty Thing’ is a story set in the 1970’s when Rebecca is just a 15 year old girl and has met Bracken, an older and more experienced man who sweeps her off her feet. Caught up in new relationship with Bracken, she finds herself committing to her new man and leaving her friends behind, particularly her best friend Mary-Jane is the victim of a sexual assault and needs her more than ever. But caught up in the throes of new love, Rebecca spends her time with Bracken, all the whilst a spurt of sexual assaults happen in the small town.
The story is told entirely through the narrative of Rebecca, a relatable girl who has spent her life under her fathers tyrant control, bitter and angry that his wife left them, he finds solace in alcohol and dictating Rebecca’ life, but when Bracken turns Rebecca’s head, she finds herself leaving everyone behind so she can spend all her time with him, I regularly found her selfish in her actions, as she rejected those who needed her most in favour to Bracken.
Even though Rebecca seems wiser than her peers, she is easily led by Bracken. As Bracken is older, he is dominant with Rebecca and often I found his affection and attention on the young girl to be claustrophobic, he was needy and to be honest, I mostly found him creepy.
Against the backdrop of a bleak and dismal setting, where poverty was quite often the issue, the soundtrack of the 70’s gives the book a bit of a lift.
A story about the excitement and consumption of first love and a sex pest targeting young women, ‘Pretty Thing’ is a dark and passionate story that held my attention throughout.
You can buy Pretty Thing from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.