Chicklit Club



A Pound of Flesh - Sophie Jackson (2015)


Kat Lane had promised her beloved late father that she would become a teacher, give something back. She finds her calling in teaching English Literature to prison inmates. All is going well, until she gets a new student - Wes Carter. For Carter, this course is his last-chance saloon, the final opportunity to make some headway on his parole application but the classroom environment is just too much for him, especially with Miss Lane rubbing him up the wrong way. When he's thrown out of her sessions, he thinks he's lost his chance of getting parole, but then Kat surprises him - offering to tutor him one-on-one. The whole prison setting and prisoner-tutor relationships makes for a great USP, but it's not as dramatic or drawn out as expected, as Carter's soon on the outside. Indeed, the narrative jumps forward quite often between chapters and it feels as if it moves on too fast and misses out portions of time and events. The shift in Kat's attitude to a relationship with Carter is sudden and her appearance at the club where she finally gives in to him felt unexplained and contrived. Whilst it's nice to be inside Kat and Carter's bubble, the outside world and influences lose momentum and impact. There are a number of obstacles and subplots hinted at but the threats to their relationship never materialise and it lacks in drama and tension. However, the sentiments and romance are spot on and the real strength of this narrative. Although it has the expected sexual content typical of the genre, the emotions felt deeper and more authentic. Jackson does a great job of removing herself from the narrative so the only voices we hear are Carter's and Kat's. (JC)



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