‘She was coming toward him in a crooked purple tube top and baggy shorts and brassy sandals studded with rhinestones. She carried a huge pink patent-leather purse and was possibly the worst thing he’d seen all day. ‘Hi.’ She had a little gap between her teeth, and her eyes were wide set, and she had one of those noses with perfectly round nostrils. She was a pale little freckled pig with eyelashes. ‘I’m supposed to ask you for a cigarette.’ This ugly kid before Lamb was obviously the brunt of a joke. Stupid. And reckless. Had they any idea who he was? Why he was standing alone in a black suit? What kind of heart, if any, hung inside him? And how was this not a joke on him? He took a pull on his own cigarette and put it out on the bottom of his beautifully polished shoe.’
Tommie is eleven. Lamb is a middle-aged man. He is convinced that he can help her avoid a destiny of apathy and emptiness. He even comes to believe that his devotion is in her best interest.
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This is fiction of striking distinction. - Independent
A devastatingly convincing portrait of abuse . . . Add in pitch-perfect dialogue and this utterly assured, high stakes, high-wire act of a novel is proof that Nadzam is a very special talent indeed. - Daily Mail
An unsettling tale of the relationship between two people separated by age and experience, Bonnie Nadzam's debut novel has already garnered rave reviews stateside. Nadzam's difficult story will invariably be compared to Nabakov's Lolita – but this is darker, fresher and stomach-turningly good. - Stylist
Nadzam’s lush descriptions of nature, Lambs’s persuasive way with words and Tommie’s innocence lead the reader into unnerving territories . . . This is a brilliantly unsettling read that casts a dark, manipulative spell – particularly against the gorgeously described backdrop of the American West. - Marie Claire
An unsettling and challenging read. - Psychologies
A gripping psychological study . . . This is a debut author who is definitely worth watching - Herald
Bonnie Nadzam manages to write gorgeous prose about people and skies and mountains while still creating tension and suspense on the level of a thriller, while also walking us into a complex and delicate and unsettling moral territory with brilliant subtlety and insight. Lamb is a remarkable debut by a writer to watch. I will be thinking about these characters for a long time. -
Nadzam's writing is so exceptional, and her pairing of Lamb and Tommie so terrifying, you cannot and dare not look away. - Barnes and Noble Review
Surprisingly tender, highly inappropriate . . . Lamb is difficult and beautiful, and though it may not be normal, it feels incredibly real. - Time Out New York
A disturbing and elusive novel about manipulation and desperate friendship. - Kirkus Reviews
Nadzam has a crisp, fluid writing style, and her dialogue is reminiscent of Sam Shepard's . . . it's a fine first effort: storytelling as accomplished as it is unsettling. - Publishers Weekly
A morbidly fascinating debut; Nadzam’s beautiful prose makes the flesh creep. - Financial Times
By this author
About the Author
Bonnie Nadzam was born in Cleveland, went to school in Chicago and has moved continually westward since then. She studied English literature and environmental studies at Carleton College and earned an MA and PhD from the University of Southern California. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in a wide range of literary publications and she taught creative writing at Colorado College. She is married to her childhood sweetheart and lives with him in the Rocky Mountains.