Aquired via BookCrossing 04 Sep 2009 – Not So Secret Stationery parcel

This was brilliant! A fresh young voice; the author is from the Parisian inner city which she describes so well, and the writing is funny, heartfelt and moving. The translation is great and not at all clunky. Doria is an Algerian living with her Mum in a seedy tower block. Around them are other Algerians and a great collection of characters, aunties, spoddy cousin types, a well-meaning counsellor, the evil boss at her Mum’s place. Both Doria and Yasmina grow and change during the book, both learning new skills and ways to deal with life. Although the banlieus have been written about depressingly and have been the scenes of terrible clashes and riots, this is basically a life-affirming and positive book, while not skirting the more serious issues. I’d love to read more by this author.