'Raw, intense and absorbing.' Matt Haig
'As tender and funny as it is painful.' TLS
'I didn't give my hands much thought before they turned against me. ... They have been chipping away at my life, slowly, slowly, in a way I could never have predicted.'
Lauren Brown is anxious. And when she feels worried, she picks at her skin. Secretly, quietly, but increasingly compulsively, her skin-picking begins to affect her day-to-day life until she realizes she must unravel the reasons behind it.
This sparkling memoir follows the thread of Lauren's anxiety - tangled and frayed - back to its source. Written with rare wit and insight, it is an attempt to redirect the anxiety that's pooled in her fingertips for as long as she can remember, released in odd bursts in caravan parks, on European holidays, at GP surgeries and on the wind-stung north-east coast. It is a moving and joyful exploration of obsession, forgiveness, stigma and healing, and a true love-song to the north.
Thoughtful, unsparing and at times darkly comic, Hands is the masterful debut of a luminous new talent.