Nearly every day finds her waking up in some sort of daze: arriving back at her flat hungover after a night of clubbing, vaguely remembering drugs she took and anonymous strangers she slept with. We get to see the inner workings of the club; the expectations of the clients and the services on offer. This book is far too cliched and portrays the main protagonist as a victim, which is quite strange since said 'victim' could have made different life choices, seeing that she lives in a free country. I hope that any young woman considering this job does, so she will at best reconsider, and, if not, at least go into it with her eyes open. Determined to beat the sleaze and the system, her plan is to make enough money to prove to the world, and her mother, that she is a fit parent. I won this book in the Goodreads Giveaways.
As much as I was not prepared for that kind of book, the style, the vocabulary, as much as I adored it from page one 'till the end. Her choice of words and subtle changes in sentence rhythm add yet another level to already richly textured storytelling. Adopting a second person perspective, de la Mer captures perfectly the detachment and alienation Hayleigh feels at the world she inhabits. After writing what seemed like a million drafts of 4 a. Redemptive elements such as the bouncer who looks after Hayleigh during another ill advised drug binge offer a balanced portrait of a world few of us would want to enter apart from via the pages of a responsible and thoughtful book such as this.
Narrated by Hayleigh, the voice is remarkably fresh and consistent. There may be shades of these preconceptions that apply, but basically Layla is a selfish and headstrong woman who is trying to earn enough money to run away with the son she seems to have abandoned back home in Peacehaven. People believe what suits them. Covent Garden, The Royal Opera House. Her previous novel, , about a pair of young British army chefs posted to Germany, was published in 2011.
And despite past experience, each future choice brings fresh hope that Layla will get it right. Please tell us about your debut novel 4am. This is a brilliant and moving novel, imaginatively powerful and authentically conceived. Layla survives on wit and skillful moves, confident of her looks and in her ability to exploit men before they can exploit her. But in this case it serves to both distance Hayleigh from herself and at the same time compels the reader to immerse themselves in the story. There are a few moments when Hayleigh's behaviour seems so bizarre it bordering on absurd but as you read more into the book you begin to realise the significance and the meaning of the incident. She left behind a young son, Connor, after tensions with her mother became unbearable but is haunted by this and desperately clinging to the hope that if only she earns enough money she can return and be part of his life again.
Our apologies, we're not able to support your browsing software In the interest of keeping our customer's information secure, we've discontinued support for Internet Explorer 6 and below, which are known to contain serious security vulnerabilities. Register a Free 1 month Trial Account. Written entirely in second person narrative — a difficult trick to pull off, de la Mer does it with aplomb — Layla takes the reader into the murky world of lap dancing clubs. Anything that fits under the group name is fine, and my definitions of all those terms are quite broad. Hayleigh is desperate to earn enough money to provide for her baby, who lives with her mother. Unusually, the book is written in the second person.
Perhaps she is a drug addict. Thirty years after the resounding success of Jay McInerney's Bright Lights, Big City, and written in a similarly intense second-person narrative, Layla speaks for a new generation. No, it's not another book about the Roman Empire; rather it's your average week night in London. But over the course of a chaotic week, a series of shocking events force Hayleigh to make a life-changing decision — and fight for the one thing she truly wants. Putting herself through horrific hangovers and comedowns and battling jealousy, she finds herself acting even more irrationally, homeless, and being pressured into taking up porn as a new career path. Her motives mix good and bad, but mostly are just not thought through.
If you value story and experimentation in equal measures, this book is for you. Perhaps she is a drug addict. Is heterosexuality just another fantasy for the narrator though? The novel is told, unusually, in second person. And then, this idea is turned upside down once more, and we are none the wiser - a viewpoint that perfectly sums up such a complicated issue. I really enjoyed the characters too - very believable. But as time goes by, Hayleigh fails to thrive. A lot to think about eg, it seems that the feminists are right, that the world that Hayleigh inhabits is dangerous and exploitative to women using them and viewing them as pieces of meat.
Can you tell us a bit about the process of applying for a grant for this book? B Arriving in London, Hayleigh finds work as lap dancer 'Layla'. Like Hayleigh herself, we as readers are thrown right in at the deep end with this narrative: there is no preamble; the story begins in medias res, right in the middle of the action at the club. Loneliness is perhaps the quality which colours most of her experience in London, which I'm sure even the most hardened Londoner can relate to. It is a book group cliche to say you like or care about the characters in a novel, but I grew to love Layla. Unusually, the book is written in the second person. If you want to you may also try some other popular Internet browsers like , , or. Nina de la Mer is a Scottish novelist now based in Brighton, England.
She is essentially trying to save enough money to resurrect the broken relationship with her young child. Definitely worth a read though - does what it says on the tin. Layla could easily have become a stereotypical morality tale of dodgy strip clubs, Cockney wide boys, and the corrupting world of adult entertainment, but with a deft touch, and canny use of a differing perspective, it rises above the cliche and gives us a heroine you genuinely root for. Layla is the story of a young girl Hayleigh who is estranged from her family in Peacehaven and who has moved to London where she has somehow ended up as a lap dancer. It tells of seven days in the life of a reluctant lap dancer who dreams of a quieter life with her baby son.
Such suspense is a joy, when, as it does in Layla, it leaves readers able to imagine the outcome or alternatives outcomes for themselves. The blurb sold me and I rented the book in a split-second decision. I didn't rate the book higher because although I enjoyed it, I don't think for me it was life-changing and probably won't stick with me in great detail. So, it was with relish that I embarked on Layla. Now you recognise what it was. I think fiction and especially this book because of its narrative voice is more likely to be persuasive in this respect than an organisation dictating the hard facts.