May 12th 2005
£7.99
208 pages
B-format paperback
ISBN
0-9547913-4-7

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Piggy Monk Square by Grace Jolliffe

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Jolliffe captures the vividness of childhood and the exuberant cadence of Liverpudlian slang. This subtle but compulsively readable novel, combines the bittersweet provincial nostalgia of Meera Syal’s Anita and Me, with a dark and subversive parable that has echoes of Whistle down the Wind

Independent on Sunday

1970s Toxteth, and 9-year-old Sparra is running out of places to play. It’s no fun at home, what with her Mam and Dad snapping at each other and Auntie Mo dishing the dirt. Along her street prowl mortal enemies Uffo and Lippo, mad Harold and his skinny wife, psycho-killer Stabber and old ladies going ‘tut tut tut’.

So Sparra and her best mate Debbie make a bombed-out house on Piggy Monk Square their own special hideaway. When a policeman with a bad case of snuffles and a big set of handcuffs disturbs their games, he warns them to keep out the Bommy. Two Scouse girls, they know better than to trust a Sniffer-Cop. But suddenly he’s at their mercy and they’re pitched into trouble deeper than they could ever imagine.

The real punch of this tale comes from the appalling isolation of Sparra’s childhood. Grown-ups don’t listen to the likes of Sparra. The punch leaves you gasping

Guardian

Piggy Monk Square is unbearably tense and utterly believable. The voice of its young heroine is so beguiling and convincing that you feel that you’ve met her

Frank Cottrell Boyce

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