Mark, a self-employed cabinetmaker, and his ambitious office-worker wife live a seemingly tidy existence in a bland London suburb. Then Mark’s long-lost ex, Kim, surfaces, claiming that she wants him to see their 13-year-old daughter, Lily — setting off a series of taut episodes that are masterful primers on how dysfunction slithers through a family tree. Mark hasn’t seen Lily in a decade and is shocked to find her pierced, tattooed, and smothered in makeup, chain-smoking and swilling Bacardi Breezers. But it’s the discerning portraits of the pathologically immature adults around her that reveal the real problem. Throughout, Henry Sutton details Lily’s fate in a dispassionate, reportorial tone that heightens the cavalier cruelty seeping from each page of Kids’ Stuff.
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