i The supreme confidence and natural flow of the writing. It was so good to be able to relax almost straightaway and know that I was in the hands of an exceptional writer, who wasn’t going to irritate or pull me up short with sloppy workmanship.
ii The humour, which as the author clearly knows, helps make the parallel tragedy even more palatable and poignant.
iii The intelligence – this is a constant, and very welcome, presence throughout the narrative.
iv Quirkiness: I like this not only because it’s hugely refreshing but also because it feels so spontaneous.
v Subject matter: Whilst an individual’s breakdown is so damaging in its own way, I was most definitely with Alison in her car by the White Horse. Vaught describes the cacophony of the disintegration of the mind superbly.
vi The bravery of the writing: Vaught manages to convey the subject of overwhelming, constant fear with such paradoxical fearlessness.