Contemporary Fiction

Intimate Lines


This book will launch on Feb 26, 2021. Currently, only those with the link can see it. 🔒

Worth reading 😎

Intimate Lines, creates an insular but delightful world that the reader feels a part of from the first page

Intimate Lines is the tale of Nadia, a young girl in England who has broken away from the oppressive hold of her strict Muslim family to pursue a career in her only passion- art. A tale of trauma, growth, and rebirth, Intimate Lines is a long and winding story detailing the protagonist’s growth from a timid young girl to a successful and self-assured woman.

One of the biggest wins for this text is the author’s deep interest in character building. Situated in a sleepy English town, the story focuses primarily on Nadia and her relationship with the people around her. Each and every character in this novel seem to be well planned out, with a variety of characters keeping the novel interesting. From the overbearing and cruel art gallery owner, Jessica, to Nadia’s kind art mentor, Jake, the rich dialogue and character descriptions throughout the novel give a sense of purpose and personality to the text. Every character we meet speaks in a different manner, with a blend of London and Northern accents almost audible from reading the text.

Another fantastic feature of Intimate Lines is the seamless weaving of past and present in the story, achieved through letter-writing at the beginning of each chapter. Estranged from her family but desperate to reconnect with her sister, Deenah, the author starts each chapter with a short blog written by Nadia. The blogs focus on documenting her past life, detailing the reasons for leaving the family home and questioning whether it was the right decision to make. By inserting these snippets of context, the reader can better appreciate the overall reasons for the protagonist’s actions and decisions throughout the book. This also leads to a more complex text, allowing for increased mental stimulation and questioning on the reader’s end.

Perhaps the one downfall of Intimate Lines is the length of the book. Despite the beautiful characterization throughout, at 90,000 words, the text is quite long to hold a story where there are no major key turns or shocking events. Sudden plot points aside, the story’s location between an art gallery, apartment, local café, and shared studio space can feel a little claustrophobic sometimes- something that probably could have been avoided if the book was a little shorter. Sometimes it can read as though certain chapters are acting as fillers, with nothing much happening in terms of plot. All in all, however, the book is a great read if you’re looking for a long, winding text to delve into for days at a time, offering a comforting atmosphere where you, the reader, will be vouching for Nadia throughout.

Overall, Intimate Lines is an easy read with a warm and cosy atmosphere; the perfect book for long winter nights or days spent relaxing at the beach. The protagonist is undeniably loveable, and the growth she experiences throughout is heartwarming. Despite the length of the text, Clarke has done something special in Intimate Lines, creating an insular but delightful world that the reader feels a part of from the first page. 

Reviewed by

Hi, my name is Avril and I'm a writer & English Lit grad living in Dublin, Ireland.
I fell in love with reading at a young age, and carried this passion on to make reading and writing my full-time career. When I'm not reading or writing, I love painting, jewellery making, and hanging with my cat!

Chapter One

About the author

Jenni Clarke lives in a quiet corner of France where she indulges in her love of reading, writing, and her forest garden. When not binging on words and plants she explores mountainous roads on her bicycle and stops, not because she is out of breath, but to admire stunning views. view profile

Published on December 03, 2020

90000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Reviewed by