Friday, 27 April 2018

Book review : Tale Of A Tooth - Allie Rogers

Last year, I reviewed Allie Rogers' debut novel Little Gold (click through to read my review) and loved her presentation of hard-done-by underdogs struggling to survive and thrive in a society filled with hardships and toxic people but also good Samaritans and genuinely kind-hearted people.

Tale Of A Tooth instantly gives off the same vibe. Single mum Natalie has her work cut out trying to bring up her four-year-old son Danny by herself and with very little income. Entirely narrated by Danny in his endearing toddler-speak, his childish innocence gives a clear picture of the daily struggles that Natalie, or Meemaw as he calls her, has, just to put food on the table and keep the electricity meter topped up. Her frequent nightmares, where she wakes up screaming in Spanish, hint at deeper troubles in her past, and Danny shows numerous signs, such as being highly intelligent, a fluent reader, obsessed with dinosaurs but not good at all with social skills, that would suggest he is autistic, making Natalie's job even harder. With all this going on, it is hard not to feel sorry for her when she is threatened with losing her jobseeker's allowance when she turns up late at the Job Centre for her weekly appointment.

Luckily (or unluckily, as it turns out), Karen, another Job Centre worker, arrives in the nick of time, sorts out Natalie's problems and sweeps her off her feet into the bargain. As their relationship intensifies, Danny likes her less and less, and the fact that he is the narrator tends to sway the reader to his way of thinking. It is amusing to see his view of the new interloper, but things soon take a more sinister and dangerous turn. Despite (or perhaps because of) the hardships that she has endured in her own life, Natalie is one of life's fixers and wants to help everyone - but she ends up being too kind for her own good.

It's a poignant, chilling but ultimately uplifting novel, with complex characters that you can't help but empathise with. While Little Gold was set in the 1980's, Tale Of A Tooth is set in modern society, but both novels show that many families are still falling through the gaps and facing the same problems in their day-to-day lives.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £9.99

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Legend Press (19 April 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1787198529
  • ISBN-13: 978-1787198524

Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book.


  1. It sounds like an engaging read. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to read and review it, when offered, as it involves a young child and social issues. I'm still recovering from some other Legend Press books with sinister turns.

  2. Sounds like a book I would like


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