Another Planet by Tracey Thorn

Tracey Thorn shares her teenage diaries and recollections in her new memoir

Book Review by Rebecca Wojturska | 05 Feb 2019
  • Another Planet
Book title: Another Planet: A Teenager in Suburbia
Author: Tracey Thorn

In Another Planet, Tracey Thorn explores her life growing up in a 1970s commuter town, just outside London, long before she successfully worked as a musician and writer. Utilising her teenage diary entries, personal recollections and a recent visit back to her childhood town, Thorn describes early life in suburbia and how it shaped her, both as a woman and musician.

Thorn explores longing and belonging, and feeling both welcome and a stranger, in an honest and approachable way: her writing feels familiar, providing a cosy and ultimately enjoyable read. At times this slips into the overly descriptive and repetitive, the point of certain passages becoming unclear. With some clichéd phrasing peppered throughout, Another Planet at times feels hazy and suggestive, rather than definitive, which slows down the pace considerably and is reminiscent of the sluggish life in suburbia she describes.

However, Thorn skilfully turns her attention at times to the discrepancies between the lives we commit to diary and lived experience, which diarists and those in the spotlight will immediately recognise. Another Planet is a comfortable read that many people will identify with, but, much like the selective diary entries, something is missing.

Canongate, 7 Feb, £14.99