It would be an understatement to describe Peach by Emma Glass as a unique book. Written in an unusual style, telling a detailed and emotional story in less than a hundred pages, this is an outstanding debut from someone who has studied the art of writing.
The story follows a teenage girl called Peach. She has a normal life, goes to college, a boyfriend called Green, a friend called Sandy, a family with a sibling called Baby. However, she has a dark secret: a man called Lincoln has done a terrible thing to her, and though it is never directly mentioned, it is pretty easy to work out what has happened. The book follows Peach as she tries to get on with her life, though her dark secret continues to plague her.
Peach was published by Bloomsbury and picking up the book, the size of it can come off as deceptive: the story is only ninety-eight pages and is fairly small. However, Glass previously studied Creative Writing and English Literature at the University of Kent, and her knowledge of the craft really shows: her command of the English language keeps the story to the point, writing only as necessary and choosing her words very deliberately to leave an impactful image. Despite it not being a particularly big or long book, it doesn’t feel lacking at all.
The text is written in Bembo, as Glass briefly points out at the end of the book. The formatting and style of this makes the book read as punchy poetry. It’s a little confusing at first and may take a while to get used to, but it adds to the overall tone, reflecting a world that ‘has become unfamiliar, fractured’.
The story itself is very emotional. Even from the minimalistic cover, Peach unapologetically tells the reader a bold and, at times, terrifying story of a sexual nature. Though overall very dark, given what the story is based around, there are moments of pleasantness, like when Peach plays with Baby or whenever she spends time with her boyfriend Green. However, happy moments are few and far between, and usually the memory of Lincoln comes crashing, quickly making the tone dark again before Peach and the reader have too much time to enjoy it.
Peach is without a doubt worth picking up. The Bembo writing might be a bit off-putting at first, but that adds to the feel of the story: it is weird, and it is alien at times. It’s a bold story that doesn’t take a long time to read, but it is one that will stay with you for a while.
Review copy provided
A unique, dark, strange but outstanding piece of art from a writer who has a lot of promise and potential