Book cover for Tender




04 June 2015
256 pages
Imprint: Picador


Tender is an amazing novel, gripping, completely compelling, and at once demanding and satisfying. Belinda McKeon has an inimitable, to-die-for writing style, and a sublime talent for constructing a clear, often poetic exposition of the complexities of friendship and love, of the unfathomable nature of human relationships.
Tender rises above every other book on the shelf for its language alone; the beauty of each sentence will break your heart. But the story, full of the pleasures and terrors and betrayals of youth, will do that anyway. There is no way around it: you will weep. Spectacular.
Utterly exquisite, unflinchingly observed, Tender is the story of a specific obsessive love, but also the story of youth itself, the blinding needs of heart and body, the illusion that one can change reality to suit one's desires - just by wanting to enough. McKeon's intelligence and insight shine through every page, and the words themselves perform miracles of revelation as they dance from one sentence to the next.
It's a great pleasure to read something so acute and beautifully written - especially the dialogue, the voices spring off the page - and also so subtly subversive. It's a story of self-realisation and artistic freedom told by the person who was realised upon. So many women will recognise themselves in Catherine.