win prizes lyrebird desmond elliott 2017 granchester eligible curtis sittenfeld

The Taxi Driver's Daughter by Julia Darling
  

The Taxi Driver's Daughter

Literary Fiction   Family Drama   Reading Groups   

RRP £10.99

Notify me
when in stock

As soon as this book is back in stock we will send you an email.

Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Literary Contemporary Facebook group Share this book

Lovereading view...

This review is provided by bookgroup.info.

'What's wrong with being a taxi driver?' asks Degna,in the TAXI DRIVER'S DAUGHTER.

Well, exactly. Admit it, there may be sheer pleasure in being cocooned and sound-proofed in the back of Mac's taxi, breathing in his air-freshener and Extra Strong mints, and noticing, for the first time, city churches, pubs, undertakers and pavements piled high with basket ware from Botswana.

Mac's wife, Louise, is jailed for three months for assaulting a policeman with the stiletto heel of a
shoe she has shoplifted from Fenwicks. Mac's teenage daughters, Stella and Caris ('I might pierce my clitoris too'), are adrift without her. Mac's sherry-and-nicotine-pickled mother-in-law moves herself into the box room 'to help'. A family visit to Louise in jail? Don't ask.

While Stella, with 'A's in all her subjects, begins to clean obsessively, Caris imagines that a strange feral boy (with a gold credit card) is a prince who will take her away from it all. Caris is forthright, brave, unaffected and her bedroom and clothes are a mess: she has the energy and honesty
to dominate the story. Stella tries hard to stop everything disintegrating. Stella and Caris would
gladden and frighten the heart of any father.

Julia Darling is as gifted a storyteller as anyone around in this third millenium. She is subtle, fascinating and modern without the gimmick of eccentric punctuation. She makes a very fine art of
being easy to read, while giving one pause to understand the deeper meanings in her book. There is, of course, the folly and the bitter cruelty in sending the mother of a family to jail for shoplifting. But I think THE TAXI DRIVER'S DAUGHTER is about today, our predicament, and our isolation brought on to some extent by television, better housing, and the difficulty of finding time to stand back and see the whole picture.

THE TAXI DRIVER'S DAUGHTER's unpredictable ending left me wondering uneasily what would happen next, and very anxious to know.

While Darling’s prose style is spare, her images are very eloquent. Towards the end of the story, the bronze of a large banana (paid for, no doubt, with a Lottery grant) is transported inch by inch through Newcastle's rush hour, escorted by policemen on motorbikes. 'More bloody art!' shouts Steady Eddy, seething in the tail-back. Meanwhile, in the park, Maurice and Ned are told to take ladders and remove the collection of shoes hanging in the tree. Maurice grumbles to Ned. 'They wouldn't take it down if someone from fucking London had done it', he says waspishly. Ned doesn't
answer. He likes his job...

Oh, I do love you, Julia Darling.

If you like Julia Darling you might also like to read books by Kate Atkinson, Kate Long and Hilary Mantel.

Synopsis

The Taxi Driver's Daughter by Julia Darling

In 'The Taxi Driver's Daughter', Julia Darling tells the story of a family from the North East on the verge of collapse, caught between the escape they crave and the imperfect reality that seems to be their lot.

About the Author

Julia Darling

Julia Darling was an award-winning British novelist, poet and dramatist. In 1988 her first novel Crocodile Soup was published and in 2003 her first full-length collection of poems, Sudden Collapses in Public Places was awarded a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Julia sadly passed away in April 2005.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

3rd June 2004

Author

Julia Darling

More books by Julia Darling
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Publisher

Penguin Books Ltd

Format

Paperback (b Format)
272 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Family Drama
Reading Groups

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780141012612

As for why I'd recommend Lovereading, it's simple - it's a great place to get information and reviews about new books!

Margaret Freeman

Discover new authors and enjoy old favourites; oodles of literary gems to uncover at Lovereading with candid reviews from real reviewers.

Emily Wright

I love reading because my cares & woes vanish for an hour or two whilst I read of the joys, adventures, lives of the characters in the book.

Jennifer Moville

Its jam packed with fantastic titles, informative descriptions & fantastic reviews and has a vast array of great features & competitions.

Linda Rollins

I love Lovereading because of its ability to connect people that love books & unite them in a friendly, stimulating & interesting community.

Megan Olwen William

With literary excellence, humour and drama, Lovereading's got value and is a real stress-calmer!

Siobhan McDowell

My horizons have been broadened by some of the books I have been lucky to review and I expect it to be no different in the future.

Daran Bellingham

Books of the month/debuts of the month, kids/adults, fiction/non-fiction, free prize draws and free extracts, what's not to love?

Emma Smith

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools