Phoebe is 15 at the start of the novel. She is very articulate, loves words and wants to be a writer. She is also autistic and struggles socially especially with people her own age. Her best friend is Bethany and they have been friends since they were very young. Phoebe lives with her widowed father, her Mum having died when she was eight.
In this novel, the themes are friendship and coping with differences. What will happen when Phoebe, who is the one who usually relies on Bethany, has to help Bethany with a life-changing situation and its extensive fall-out? What will they both discover about themselves and the nature of friendship?
Phoebe’s voice as a character takes some getting used to. It can be quite stilted. For this reviewer, the second half of the novel is very strong but the author may have lost some readers along the way, as there is little action in the first half. This may be because of the nature of Phoebe’s autism and the fact that she struggles socially. The main flaw of this narrative is that Extence lets the autistic part of Phoebe’s character dominate it.