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Set between 1989 and the downfall of Ceaușescu, and 2013, The Squeeze travels between Edinburgh, Romania and Oslo and sees this multi‑award-winning and bestselling author at the height of her powers.
Marta, a teenager trafficked from Romania in the early 1990s is forced to work as a prostitute in Edinburgh. Mats, a Norwegian businessman, who longs only to be a good husband and father, becomes involved with Marta and both their lives are wrenched – for good or ill – in new directions.
Told in a splintered narrative style that allows glimpses into several points of view, The Squeeze explores the transactions that take place between men and women.
Sex, money and the desire for love, are at its heart.
‘The Squeeze has the pace and plot points of a thriller, and the tension rarely ebbs. It’s also sharply written, and Glaister’s corvid eye for squalor grounds her story skilfully in the queasy humdrum even as the drama ratchets up.’ —Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail
‘This is not an easy novel to read and it can’t have been the easiest to write. But Glaister has never shied away from a challenge, and she never disappoints. She may not be the most high-profile writer of her generation, and her unflinching approach to difficult subject matter may be part of the reason for that. But she deserves to be better known.’ —Lesley McDowall, The National
‘The Squeeze is not an easy read, not only because of the squalid world where it is set. Glaister’s episodic format has been described as ‘splintered’, a sound adjective for her jagged shards of narrative which jump between past and present settings and tenses. It’s tense and challenging, but we care just enough about Mats and Marta to persist. The ride is a roller-coaster of horror, heroism, violence, love, despair and hoped-for redemption – exhausting, but enriching nonetheless and a journey well worth risking.’ —Elizabeth Hilliard Selka, Bookoxygen
‘Another cliché, ‘a haunting narrative’, attaches itself to the The Squeeze: it is particularly powerful read against the current political climate, bringing a whole new gravitas to the cliché of global village. It takes the reader well beyond their comfort zone, but it is every bit worth the discomfort.’ —Anna Hollingsworth, Shiny New Books
‘This book covers such subjects as sex trafficking post Berlin Wall, marriage, relationships, family ties and criminal underworlds. It was an really intriguing, engaging read and has prompted me to buy pretty much all of Lesley Glaister’s back catalogue. No lie.’ —Bookish Chat
‘Eerily atmospheric Little Egypt, made me shudder; certain passages were read through half-closed eyes, the way you watch grisly scenes in a film — desperate to know what happens, but not wanting to disturbing images imprinted on your mind.’ —Rosemary Goring, The Herald
‘Glaister’s greatest success in Little Egypt is in her pacing and her use of language to obscure change; through effortless and consistently engaging prose, Isis’s transformation, the degradation of the house, the growing panic over her parents’ prolonged absence, and the book’s more sinister themes, all emerge discreetly.’ —Claire Kohda Hazelton, TLS
‘This tale of imprisonment and neglect explores our passion for nostalgia, with hints of Dodie Smith’s darker side. An excellent read that pulls at the heart as well as the head.’ —Victoria Clark, The Lady
‘Glaister's novels always appear to be as effortless for her to write as they for us to read.’ —The Times
‘Glaister has the the uncomfortable knack of putting her finger on things we most fear, of exposing the darkness within.’ —Independent on Sunday