A stark but uplifting story of bullying and redemption, for anyone who’s ever been a weirdo. Almost too terrified to grip the phone, Biddy Weir calls a daytime television show. The subject is bullying and Biddy has a story to tell. Abandoned by her mother as a baby, Biddy lives in her own little world, happy to pass her time watching the birds – until Alison Fleming joins her school. Popular and beautiful, but with a dangerous, malevolent streak, Alison quickly secures the admiration of her fellow students. All except one. And Alison doesn’t take kindly to people who don’t fit her mould …
Writing this review is incredibly daunting as nothing I say will in any way be as powerful as this absolutely amazing novel, nor do it justice.
Biddy Weir didn’t get the best start in life. Abandoned by her mother when she was a baby, she’s raised by her father who really doesn’t know the first thing about girls and is somewhat emotionally stunted. But Biddy knows she’s loved and is happy in her own little world. Until Alison Fleming joins her school.
Alison is beautiful, popular, spoilt, used to getting her own way. Manipulative and able to wrap everyone around her little finger. Except Biddy. What follows is a brutal bullying campaign with devastating results.
This is such a heartbreaking tale. I’d been warned I would need tissues and felt quite proud of myself that I hadn’t used any. Not that I have such a black heart that the story didn’t affect me. I just don’t like crying. And then I reached the last page. I don’t normally say anything about endings but this one here broke me so I felt it deserved a mention.
I adored Biddy. Despite her unconventional upbringing, she was happy. All she really needed was a mother figure and a friend, to teach her the ways of the world. What she got instead was a vile and selfish young girl, who didn’t care one bit about the devastating consequences of her actions.
There are so many emotions I went through in reading this novel. I shed a tear (it was the onions) and I smiled. I felt anger and a whole lot of frustration. If just one person would have taking responsibility, things could have been so different. Instead many chose to turn a blind eye.
There’s a message here. Be kind to each other. In this day and age of social media especially, where people hide behind their anonymity on the internet, think before you speak. Your words and actions can really hurt someone who doesn’t at all deserve it.
Thank you Mairead at swirlandthread for bringing this novel to my attention. I may not have had the pleasure to read it otherwise. I absolutely loved it and would recommend it high and low as it will stay with me for a long time to come.
The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir is available now.