I received this as a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
I must admit, when I first saw it, I was expecting a full length novel, but at just 137 pages, it is most definitely just a short novella.
The blurb states that the girls of Class 2B have been perfecting the art of fainting. I found this first line really intriguing, as I did the first part of the story.
Esther, like many girls in her class have been holding their breath or hyperventilating and competing amongst themselves to see who can be the first to pass into a graceful faint.
Although set in North England, for some reason, this had a whiff of the Japanese about it – I could imagine it being a typical Japanese schoolgirl obsession, so the juxtaposition with hearty English girls compared to my internal pictures made it even more compelling.
I really wanted to know more about the schoolgirls, why they had ALL started doing this, what made them continue, how they practiced, but we only followed Esther’s story, and the story left school and followed her through relationships and her life where she continued the practice.
I did enjoy the gentle following of what on the surface was the life of a ‘normal’ young girl leaving home and seeking her own place in the world through varying relationships, coming to terms with the circumstances surrounding her mother’s death and her interaction with her father. However, I felt that the auto-asphyxiation part of it was just an addition to add an interesting element to a rather dull character.
I would have loved more of the group mentality surrounding it, rather than following Esther alone.
An unusual, interesting little story, but not one that I think will stay with me particularly.
The Lost Art of Sinking by Naomi Booth will be published on 1st June 2015.