The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is admittedly not the sort of book I would usually choose. It is difficult to categorise its genre but it’s basically a series of character vignettes whose voices tell the story of a woman they all know – Sophie Stark. What kept me reading as much as any of the narratives or plotlines was morbidly wanting to find out how Sophie died – the title tantalises the reader to want to know. The author keeps us guessing until late in the story and in the interim a fragile, raw and often unlikeable protagonist is revealed.
The story explores love, bullying, grief, relationships, and challenges us to ponder which character actually knew the real Sophie, or if we are all multi-faceted revealing different parts of ourselves to different people.
I didn’t love it but the dichotomy is that it held my attention and I’m still thinking about it!
Review by Alice.