The story of Nina X's imprisonment, and her path to eventual freedom, is compelling and chilling and all too believable. She is a character to stand alongside Offred of The Handmaid's Tale and Jack of Room.
Nina X is loosely inspired by the real case of a tiny Maoist cult in London whose leader kept five women trapped for more than twenty years.
Nina X has no books, no toys and no privacy. She has nothing that might be described as love. Her closest emotional connection is with the birds she sees outside her bedroom window, when she is daring enough to remove the plasterboard that covers it. She has never been outside her small south London house.
She has never met another child. She has no mother and no father; she has a Leader (a man), and she has three female comrades. The all-powerful Leader has named her The Project; she is being raised in total ideological purity, entirely separated from the false gods of capitalism and the cult of the self.
He has her record everything in her journal, to track her thoughts; he makes her revise the entries obsessively, until they fit with his narrative. Her words are erased, over and over again.