Paper Cup by Karen Campbell (Canongate, 2023)
Paper Cup by Karen Campbell (ISBN: 9781838855093). One of those books you start off racing through, then get slower and slower because you don’t want it to end. Superbly written, this is a book of juxtapositions: brutal and shocking in places, soothing in others; a living tragedy and glimmers of hope. The story centres on Kelly, complex and fragile, living an invisible life on the streets of Glasgow: as one of the characters observes of her “She didn’t fit…, shifting, restless, like she was haunting her own life”. Two incidents set Kelly on a new path - a pilgrimage through Dumfries and Galloway - to a place she once thought of as home. Sought after by friends and foe, she is vulnerable, resourceful and very, very human.