The Icarus Girl

“The Icarus Girl” by Helen Oyeyemi (Nigeria)


Readers found this book an easy read and they finished it quickly. However, few of them enjoyed it and one reader said she found it boring. Some felt that it lacked content and that it was repetitive. On the other hand, a couple of readers thought it was a multi-layered story, touching on topics as diverse as imaginary friends, mixed marriages, the supernatural, and cultural beliefs about twins. Most readers liked the scenes set in Nigeria, which they found descriptive and lively. They also enjoyed the build up of tension as the relationship between Jess and TillyTilly begins to degenerate. Most readers found the ending a disappointment, leaving them with an unsatisfied feeling. Nicola felt the story was more suited to a younger audience and, as a result, she would recommend this book for teenagers. Overall, the book averaged a 6.5 out of 10.


Jessamy Harrison is eight years old. Sensitive, whimsical, possessed of a powerful imagination, she spends hours writing, reading or simply hiding in the dark warmth of the airing cupboard. As the ‘half-and-half’ child of an English father and a Nigerian mother, Jess just can’t shake off the feeling of being alone wherever she goes… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading list 

Season 15 – “Fantasy and the Fantastic” (Feb – Jun 2012)

“The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka (Czech Republic)
“Living in the Maniototo” by Janet Frame (New Zealand) *
“A Brief Life” by Juan Carlos Onetti (Uruguay)
“The Icarus Girl” by Helen Oyeyemi (Nigeria)
“The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe (U.S.)

* The book club favourite

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