Adult Fiction Books Reviews

Blow Your House Down by Pat Barker

November 6, 2018

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

Pages: 170

ISBN: 978-0-86068-398-8

Rating: 3/5

Have you read Blow Your House Down?

What did you think?

Thank-you for reading,

Katie x

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