This book has been on my radar since the start of 2021 when I had it as one of my most anticipated books of the year. It was one of only two I didn’t get round to reading in 2021 from that list and this was because publication was delayed until April 2022.
This does suggest it might have been a troublesome second novel for the author who faced the daunting task of following up her commercial and critical smash “Queenie” which won Book Of The Year at The British Book Awards.
“People Person” focuses on the five children of Cyril Pennington a decidedly absent parent who one day takes his adolescent offspring out to introduce them for the first time to one another so that they will not accidently pair off in the future. The five, with four different mothers have very infrequent meetings after that until the thirty-year old main character Dimple calls on her older sister when an emergency occurs. Sister Nikisha rallies the rest who become embroiled in a situation which forges their relationship.
There is a wider cast of characters in this book and this budding association of half-siblings create a greater warmth and heart than I felt in “Queenie”. With that book, however much I enjoyed it, I was very aware that I did not fit in with the intended market for it, so felt a bit of an outsider, I did not experience this feeling this time around.
Dimple is good at getting herself in deeper messes and it is heartening that this newly discovered family are prepared to stand by her. The notion of family is so strong here- this group are beginning to see similarities and differences in each other for the first time in response to the situations Dimple gets herself into. Father Cyril’s periodic interferences in their lives are amongst the novel’s high spots. He is seen as the obvious “People Person” of the title but then again he is not because of his fractured family relationships and as a character he provides very good value. This is a second strong title from Candice Carty-Williams.
People Person was published by Trapeze on 28th April 2022.