I will maintain to my deathbed that this is most definitely a book loosely based around the Yorkshire Ripper's murders. No matter what the author suggests. I mean a novel about prostitutes being killed by one man around the Leeds area...There's not really much room to dispute it. Down to the mention of a woman that survived the attack but was left with a 'crater' in the back of her head.
Pat Barker focused on the victims in this novel rather than the killer. She created a novel that followed the lives of prostitutes in a way that emphasised their humanity. There was, and to an extent, still is a stigma surrounding it but the way Barker wrote the novel showed them as what they are. People, people with lives, problems and ultimately victims. The way of a persons life doesn't necessarily make them immune to being a victim. Nor should it be a deciding factor on whether they become a victim.
Though I was disappointed with the ending of this book I did enjoy it. I wish the character of Jean had been explored later in the novel more and that perhaps we had seen her repeat certain behaviours. It seemed a very quick departure from her character to that of Maggie. Whose arc, though important, seemed an odd place to end the book.
A quick, gritty and in some places very difficult read, but with a very unique perspective.
Name: Blow Your House Down
Author(s): Pat Barker
Publisher: Virago Modern Classics
Have you read Blow Your House Down?
What did you think?
Thank-you for reading,