Dan Sandman

08: Hideous Kinky by Esther Freud

In Autobiography, Books, Fiction, Non-Fiction on 21/02/2014 at 12:00 pm

Hideous Kinky by Esther FreudHideous Kinky by Esther Freud is an imaginative combination of both fiction and non-fiction. The story is narrated from a child’s perspective and is autobiographical. Esther is a four year old girl who is far away from home. Along with her sister Bea and her Mum, Esther finds herself catapulted into a Moroccan adventure. Meanwhile, somewhere in distant England, Esther’s absent father sends Christmas presents. The resulting drama is both a moving account of childhood and a touching portrayal of motherhood.

The children in the book begin the voyage enjoying much that Morocco has to offer. Everywhere they see colourful places that open their senses and get to meet interesting characters. However, eventually the two sisters begin to miss the comforts of home and become confused by their mother’s actions.

The Mum character in the book appears to be struggling with her identity and seeking answers through travelling. It is possible to suggest, through piecing together a series of clues, that she is seeking both sexaul and religious comfort to fill an emotional void. Because everything is seen through a child’s eyes it is difficult to ascertain precisely what is going on, but anxiety surrounding money is frequently referred to, as are a number of relationships with men.

Charming from start to finish, Hideous Kinky is an easy book to get into. It is in addition a sympathetic piece about kindness between people and the bonds we share as human beings. I would recommend it as a short autobiographical novel.

Good reading.

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