Five-year-old Kerrie-Ann Hill has an unusual neighbour. Mrs Ivanovich collects butterflies and she shows Kerrie-Ann how to catch them, take care of them, and evenhow to kill them using a jar and some funny-smelling liquid. Kerrie-Ann loves looking at these beautiful, delicate creatures, and imagines them flying free...
This is Kerrie-Ann's story. She doesn't know who her father is, and her mother is a junkie. By the age of ten, she's selling drugs at school. By twelve, she's been beaten up by a customer, hidden stolen guns, done time in a girls' home, and already has a taste for whizz.
And then there's Mark - her only true friend and the one person she can trust. Their friendship turns into a powerful love and together they are invincible. But in their world it's easy to lose control. On the drug-riddled estate with an atmosphere as lethal as a killing jar, it seems that Kerrie-Ann doesn't stand a chance. Unless she can make use of what Mrs Ivanovich taught her all those years ago.
Nicola Monaghan has produced an utterly compelling and depressing narrative of life on a council estate in one of Nottingham’s worst boroughs… [A]n inspiring debut.
Kerrie Ann's strident voice sounds authentic; her plight compelling and affecting
Monaghan's novel is direct and deceptively simple. In spite of the suffering there are surprising touches of humour and tenderness that bloom like flowers on asphalt
A shocking glimpse of Nottingham gangland
A powerful, loving and honest new voice