Hayley Long presents us with Sophie Someone, or Sophie Nieuwenleven as she introduces herself in the first few pages. But Sophie has just found that she is not who she thinks she is and she’s finding the discovery incredibly difficult to digest. So she embarks on a written account of how her past caught up with her. It’s a confession if you like, to her best friend Comet.
To ease the telling she’s made up her own special language, substituting alternative words for everyday objects.
It sounds a little disconcerting, I know. I was a little sceptical myself at first, wondering if it would make it awkward to read. However, it was an absolute delight. The play on words became at times wry observations about the world around us, for example replacing the word ‘computer’ with ‘companion’, and referring to a certain newspaper as the ‘Daily Malice’. At other times, the word choices were genuinely comical like ‘baldy bruiser’ for ‘baby brother’.
Despite telling a difficult story it was never overly emotional or depressing. Sophie Someone is a book that talks of self-acceptance, forgiveness and offers hope in an uncertain world.