The Shape of Her by Rowan Somerville
Max and Tine arrive on the Greek island of her childhood holidays. Both are in their mid twenties and this is their first serious relationship. Max is relatively inexperienced with women and his previous encounters have been predominantly sexual. With Tine he feels an emotional bond, and he wants to get to know her better, both sexually and emotionally. It ought to be perfect - a secluded house on a stunning cove; rich local food and wine; swimming, sunbathing. And yet the minute they arrive Tine seems tense. As the days progress, she seems increasingly distant and is obsessed that the house is being watched. The present day is interspersed with scenes from Max's childhood. A talented child from a relatively poor family, he received a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school but nothing has prepared the young boy for the loneliness and vulnerability of living away from his family. Max is dyslexic and soon this creates difficulties with his teachers and his classmates. But when things come to a head, Max finds a way of surviving. Back in the present day, the idyllic holiday seems to be turning into a nightmare. But can Max find a way back to intimacy and overcome the demons of his past?