Dani (female) and Fletcher (male) are teenage in-patients at a Berkshire reidential care centre for addicts. Dani is severely anorexic and Fletcher has a cocaine addiction. Contrary to the house rules, Dani and Fletcher are in a relationship.
One of the other occupants of the centre, a girl named Carmen, dies and leaves her room empty. At the same time Dani has a dim memory of another room where someone lay dead and a child also lay there. She cannot with certainty recall who they were.
Dani and Fletcher set out on a quest. They will discover who the dead person and the child were. Fletcher believes such a discovery might help Dani’s recovery, so far not going well. Two questions now confront the reader: who are the couple in the room and will Dani and Fletcher recover from their addictions?
This is a well written and hard hitting book. In places the narrative is positively harrowing. One weakness however is a lack of credibility at certain points. Dani for example goes every day to the dining room but eats little or nothing. Her behaviour is not noted or dealt with by the staff, which seems unlikely to say the least. It also seems that intruders can come and go to and from the centre pretty much as they please without much regard for security.
Nevertheless the book’s strengths prevail. The author does not shrink from tackling difficult and controversial themes that concern more of today’s young people than we often care to admit. Mussi is a bold pioneer into perilous territory.