Bernard & Pat by Manchester-based author Blair James, is the story of an adult Caty, reliving her experiences, in her childhood voice, with her childminders, Bernard and Pat. It's a book with a persistent power and writing you won't be able to get out of your head. The present and past in the book are locked in a kind of battle that seems unshakeable
Written in short, titled segments, the childlike narration takes us back to her babysitters, Bernard and Pat, and to life after her father died when she was a small girl, lonely and confused in an adult world . . . The adult tone that begins to disrupt the child's perspective is exceptionally well drawn as the whole picture is revealed, little by little, with growing suspense. Acutely observed, and psychologically on the button. Superb
Bernard and Pat is terrifyingly immersive and brilliant, it reminded me of Nabokov, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing and Barbara Comyns
[Catherine's] voice is intriguing . . . memory and the tricks it plays are at the centre of this intense piece of writing
Bernard And Pat is an exquisitely crafted, beautiful little book, which asks startlingly brave questions about how the past invades our present and makes us who we are.