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Paradise by A. L. Kennedy
Paradise is a stream-of-consciousness narration by Hannah Luckraft, who begins the novel unsure of who she is or how she came to be in the hotel where she's staying. Hannah is an alcoholic, spending her life on binges and benders and trying to find the paraside that only inebriation seems to bring. Her latest lover is a dentist who drinks as much as she does. Hannah finds she must take stock of her life, how she came enmeshed in this life of pointlessness and whether it's one she can conquer. A. L. Kennedy's novel nas received glowing reviews for its portrayal of a realistic and sympathetic characterization of Hannah. Scotland on Sunday says, "In many ways this is a heartbreaking book, but if the end is not as happy as some readers might wish, there is nevertheless a redemptive quality throughout the novel, in its unflagging humour, and in the sympathy it arouses for its heroine, who is depicted honestly and touchingly with all her flaws and contradictions. Kennedy has long been acknowledged as a leading voice in British fiction, but Paradise takes her on to a new level of achievement. It is simply brilliant."