Monday, 29 May 2017

Of Human Telling

Of Human Telling is a novel by Tanya van Hasselt,

Jane is nasty. Or rather, Jane believes she is nasty. She bases this belief on the fact that she is jealous of Beth, who is good and nice.

And the fact that she is filled with resentment of Stephen, who is unattainable and so very noble of nature.

As a result Jane becomes deeply involved in her working life as a teacher of music to children that are described as troubled.

Her mother consoles her, although she often provokes her, as do a group of church ladies who are all well-meaning but sometimes problematic.

She is working with Terzo who is a mute girl of six. Terzo's twin was killed by a journalist called Angelo Aranzo, who Jane is both disturbed by and also intrigued by.

There's also neighbour Kate who is compelled and driven by her OCD rituals which she is able to hide from her unsuspecting husband.

Neither Kate or her husband are able to see the woods for the trees and they are unaware that their daughter is leading a secret life or that their son is facing severe problems of his own.

A schoolgirl is bullied beyond the limits of her ability to endure and so she attempts to kill herself.

It's an interesting and compelling novel that is both dramatic and also sympathetic. It's about the real problems that real people face and how they cope, or in some instances, fail to cope with, the problems of themselves and of those around them.

It is published by Matador at £7.99 and is available through good book retailers and online at

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