In his debut novel, Iain Broome explores the obsessive mind of one Gordon Kingdom, who suffers from what appears to be mild OCD and beginning-stage dementia. Tucked behind the curtains of a cookie-cutter home in a quiet, working class British burb, Gordon lives a monotonous existence filled with observation, note-taking, walking his dog, and caring for his sickly wife.
Highly attuned to the ticks, quirks, and indiscretions of his neighbors, Gordon’s world suddenly shifts when a new woman, Angelica, moves in across the street. He quickly becomes engrossed in watching her and begins to make an awkward effort to insinuate himself into her life.
What makes A for Angelica special is its narrator and protagonist, Gordon Kingdom. Broome uses first-person narration masterfully, telling Gordon’s story from his own eclectic, obsessive, and somewhat confused perspective. The end result is a highly realistic and engagingly well-developed character who carries the book. Gordon’s own quirks guide the haphazard way in which the narrative unfolds, bouncing between past and present with an odd, but comprehensible logic.
Broome wraps A for Angelica in accessible, but literary prose, which conceivably mirrors the thought processes of his hero Gordon.
All elements of the novel work together to produce an utterly original and unputdownable book, with a tragi-comic bent and spot-on deadpan humor.
A for Angelica touches on pressing issues in society today and will provoke great discussions in book club settings.
Broome also has an entertaining book trailer for A for Angelica: http://iainbroome.com/angelica