As it’s almost the end of January, it’s time for me to wrap up all of the Scottish fiction that I’ve read this month. If you’ve been here for a while, you’ll maybe know that I love Scottish fiction and make a conscious effort to read books by Scottish authors every month.
This month I only read 3 books by Scottish authors. Sort of. I only finished 3 books by Scottish authors because I’m doing a buddy read of Lanark by Alasdair Gray and am only half way through it. So maybe it’s 3.5 books?
In 1976, a heatwave hot enough to melt concrete punishes Scotland. While everything burns, a woman arrives in Little Denny Road with a set of keys for her new council flat. She isn’t alone. Her two daughters are always by her side, except at night when they watch their mother drive off in a stranger’s car. Sadie, the youngest of the two daughters, thinks nothing of this until she’s asked a question at school. The answer will unleash consequences that echo through the decades. At the root of Sadie’s life is a disturbing secret that must be confronted. Evil, she’ll discover, is waiting seven miles south in a nice house… Sadie, Call The Polis is an offbeat story about a Scottish family as seen through the eyes of the indomitable Sadie Relish, whose journey from childhood to adulthood is rendered in hilarious, crushing detail. Her disastrous first date, the late nights at the bus stop with a bottle or two, running away from home, the many hangovers, her first and last job, grief, Covid, and all the drama and darkness squeezed in between.
This was my third book by Kirkland Ciccone and I was very excited to pick this up. It came to me highly recommended after a whole bunch of pals read it last year (I’m late to the party. This is standard).
This book covered Sadie’s life from the 1970s to the modern day. Sadie from primary school, to high school, to work, to married life, and parenthood. I really enjoyed getting to see the character grow in both age but in maturity. She learned from her mistakes and I think that was pretty important for her.
I love the way that this author writes characters. They felt realistic and rounded and I just utterly loved Sadie. Sadie was introduced as just a lonely wee lamb. I enjoyed her stories of early family life. I grew up with my mum and sister in a single parent household so it was nice to read about a similar set up to my own childhood home. However, my mum just worked in a shop, very different to Sadie’s mum! It’s always nice to find something in a book that is familiar.
I absolutely loved the first half of this book. The first half for me was probably 5 stars. I really enjoyed Sadie’s early life and her growing into an adult. The shenanigans and drama. The moment where Sadie met her husband, my enjoyment reduced a little. I hated him. I hated who Sadie turned into when she was with him. She lost herself and just became ‘wife’ and ‘mother’. There’s nothing wrong with being a wife and mother, it was just that Sadie lost everything that made her lovable and existed solely for domestic life. The second half lacked the heart that I had been reading about in the first half. It was still an enjoyable second half but nowhere near as much as the first half.
The book took some really tough moments and difficult subjects and mixed them with moments of light and laughter. This made for a very enjoyable book and I’m excited to see what Kirkland writes next!