Our Beautiful Child, like Annalisa's previous works, is a novella. This work is a collection of three tales, all linked by a pub called the Boathouse. There's Ella, who has been dreaming of a day that gets clearer and clearer as she ages. There's Sally, hoping to meet a romantic man to sweep her off her feet as she tries to ignore the recent press of her ex. And then there's Rona, a girl struggling to find what's right for her life and stumbles onto a wonderful, but dangerous gift.
What's blown me away with all of Annalisa's work in the past (I'm particularly fond of Cat and the Dreamer) is her prose. It's absolutely beautiful. Breathtaking. Stunning. Need I go on? She has the ability to turn the depressing and sad, the drudge of everyday life, into something that has an attraction in itself. Not hiding the darker images, but bringing them to the surface so they shine in their own way, beauty in the stain. It's hard not to fall in love with her way with words, the thoughts running through her characters' minds and the way they pull you from yourself to see the world from a different viewpoint.
As such, this is a quick read. It's short, the stories move, and the verbal images keep you flipping pages. There are some darker themes here, just to warn you. Running from what can hurt you, death, desperate wanting.
But it's oh so beautifully done.