She works in a benefit office; one day a new claimant appears and minutes after leaving the office she is in an underground carpark having rough sex with him. Alone at home afterwards, she notices the first unravellings of her ordered life. She tries to forget the episode, forget the man; she clings to normality, goes to work, visits her grandmother in the nursing home, but it’s already too late. He knows it too. Bit by bit he begins to push his advantage, taking over her life, all she has.
Her friend Alison tries hard to pull her back from disaster, but fails; her parents are powerless to protect her. Inexorably she follows her path to the inevitable, bitter end; only when she has nothing left to lose can she take her fate back into her own hands, in the only way left to her.
With its pared-down style and telling eye for detail, exposing how ordinary life can suddenly become terrifying, True Things About Me provides a vivid, utterly convincing account of the destructive power of a relationship between a manipulative, violent man who knows exactly how to gain control of a vulnerable young woman. Following the narrative through her own eyes and mind, the reader becomes participant as much as witness to her moments of strength and of abject weakness. Deborah Kay Davies’s second work of fiction is an understated, compelling and terrifyingly memorable novel.
‘A little book that packs a huge punch. Davies handles the horrifying climax with control and assurance.’
‘A kind of hybrid of Janice Galloway’s The Trick is to Keep Breathing, Maggie O’Farrell’s My Lover’s Lover, and one of Sophie Hannah’s twisted stories. Memorable, troubling and surprisingly funny.’
The Financial Times
‘Glinting with pitch-black humour... Davies's razor-edged style has a lucidity and ferocity that makes much 'literary' prose sound like soggy mush.’
‘Every now and then a novel will come along and blast the scales off your eyes. True Things About Me did more than that - it blew me to pieces. Brilliant. Disturbing. Deborah Kay Davies deserves to scoop every prize going.’
‘This is the real deal. It’s as dark and humorous as life itself.’
‘Compelling and completely convincing, True Things About Me has a kind of Greek tragedy inexorability about it which made my scalp tingle and palms sweat.’
‘Like nothing I’ve ever read...full of unexpected beauty and humour. It’s like The Bell Jar for the twenty-first century.’