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Louisa Young
Flamingo 2004

Cambridge-educated Evangeline Gower worked as a belly dancer in the West End until the motorbike crash that injured her and killed her eight-month pregnant sister. Now, three years on, she leads an exemplary life, writing and and bringing up her sister's daughter as her own. But when she receives a phone call from Lily's hitherto absent father , and goes through a no-entry sign by mistake, she ends up not only in trouble with the police, but drawn into a nasty world of drug dealers, pornographers and bent coppers that seems to have bizarre connections with her sister's past. With a plot that makes you rush to the end, this is a thriller without violence, a romance without sentiment and a brilliantly exciting debut novel which was long-listed for the Orange Prize 1997.

From the press:

'Brilliant, unique - an exceptional first novel.' - The Guardian

'Babylove is as rich and improbable as a story told by Scheherezade ... intelligent, funny and tough, Evangeline even manages to pull off the remarkable feat of making all those Victorian virtues that one acquires in the course of single parenthood - patience, endurance, self-denial - sound positively sexy.... spectacularly worth reading.' - Jane Shilling, The Times

'Blends a promiscuous mix of single motherhood, belly dancing, psychotic boyfriends and motorbikes into a stylishly literate thriller.' - Marie Claire

'Exciting, compelling and tense.' - Time Out

'Funny and scary, with a memorable David Lynch-style take on Shepherd's Bush. In writing honestly and unsentimentally, Young celebrates the unequivocal nature of parental love with verve and style.' - Julie Myerson, Mail on Sunday

'A novel with grand ambitions, straining at the seams... I do not expect to read a better novel about the belly dancers of West London for some while.' - The Daily Telegraph

'Young write with an appealing, trenchant style. She doesn;t feel the need to posture and she deals with sex, pornography, love and death incisively and succinctly.' - Edward Docx, Sunday Express

From the readers:

'You will keep coming back to this book when you should be doing something else.' - Louis de Bernieres

'Funny, feisty, sexy and tender.' - Esther Freud

'A compelling, sexy sensitive book. A great story . . . sexual politics and suspense. Touching and well-observed relationship between mother and child. But I want to know what happens next . . .' 5.0 out of 5 stars - A Customer

'Goodness, what a silly book. Louisa Young can definitely write. But what ridiculous storylines and characters! The heroine is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed belly-dancer, for a start, who gets embroiled in all sorts of outlandish and improbable situations. I just felt that Young was trying too hard to be cool, trying to impress the reader with how hard she is (couldn't shake the feeling that Evangeline was Young) All that motorbike stuff and hard-faced one-liners that no woman I know would ever come out with. To the reader who wanted to know what happens next, there is a sequel on its way apparently. Whoopee.' 2 out of 5 stars - A Customer