EXPLOITS by Poppet
I had gone from ‘hardly ever been kissed’ to ‘let’s get it on’.
There was nothing wrong with me when Gary got hold of me. I was full of energy, hope, anticipation and joy. I was old enough to look forward to leaving home. To determine my own fate. But then, the dashing prince of darkness crossed my path.
There is something entrancing about Poppet’s writing. I sat down to start the read for review...and read Exploits in one sitting. (Which I paid for after!) Thoughts of reviewing fled completely. Poppet writes from the heart, pulls no punches and it really is as if you sit in the room with her, listening to her voice. It feels personal.
Stephanie is somewhat innocent of the ways of men and has already been burned once. When she meets Gary, a gorgeous charismatic, she is wary, but also needs someone to love her. Her journey from independence to absolute dependence can be frustrating- you wish you could shout at her to get her act together- but also incredibly enlightening. I wonder how much we really understand of what goes on when the doors close on relationships, and Exploits certainly gifts us a glimpse. It is a harrowing journey through the psyche.
There is a bright side, too. Friendship. Without the care of true friends, I think Stephanie would have succumbed to desperation earlier than she did...and they were there for her when she hit bottom. Cherish your friends, always.
The setting of this story reveals that relationships are universal- it can be retold set in New York, London or Alice Springs Australia and it will be instantly recognisable. But, set in glorious Cape Town, South Africa? This reader was enthralled! The cosmopolitan side of Africa shines through.
Exploits could be considered a controversial book, dealing as it does with abuse, but I strongly recommend you read it. There are lessons here, whether it’s happening to you or to someone you know. I hope you feel empowered. Read it now.
All issues aside, though, I have to say Exploits is well told, a really good read, and Poppet is a writer well worth following.
Elaina J Davidson
(will update with link to Exploits...)