When Harmony drops out of university, she decides to return to her childhood home: a North London commune that’s now a decrepit block of flats. She hopes by moving back she’ll discover the source of her unsettling nightmares. The house has changed a lot, but at the same time so much is the same. It’s still a hotbed of vices, which fuels Harmony’s search for answers, answers that may change everything she thought she knew about her parents and herself.
I felt rather indifferent to this book for the first three-quarters, possibly because of the structure, which alternates between Harmony’s present-day narrative and a second, initially unknown narrator at the commune in the ’80s. This was also my on-the-go book so I rarely read for more than 15 minutes at a time, which didn’t help when it came to ‘getting into’ it. Not until the last quarter did I made more of a conscious effort to carve out time to read it and I found myself more invested. The setting is incredibly rich – you can almost feel the sweltering London summer heat that permeates both narratives. The story is utterly tragic but concludes with a glimmer of hope for Harmony, as well as giving the reader closure on some of the more peripheral characters. Despite a rocky start to my reading, I enjoyed the ending and the book overall.
Rating: 3 / 5 stars