Brilliant! But beware – this is not for those who read to escape the realties of contemporary life in the political crazies of the Western world. Still, it’s fun and magical – typical Smith for her last several novels.
I’ve followed Ali Smith for years, since her also brilliant Hotel World in 2004 but more seriously since How to Be Both (2014). so this is my 6th novel. I’d really like to read some of her short story collections, but …
by Ali Smith
2019 / 340 pages
read by Juliette Burton – 7h 2m
rating: 9 – 7h 2m / literary fiction
#3 in the Seasonal Quartet
(both read and listened)
The story is about many things but one of the main characters is a middle-aged grieving film director who might be directing a romance movie about a pair of very real and historical lovers who never did love each other.
And it’s about a young woman who works in an “Immigrant Removal Center” somewhere outside London and her travels and changes.
And it’s about Florence, a 12 or 13-year old girl who manages to slip by everyone, help the detainees, befriend (and use) the worker, assist the grieving filmmaker and go on traveling among other things. Florence is probably the main character here although she’s also the most slightly built – like air almost.
It’s about “the system” in terms of international refugees and Brexit and the disparity between truth and fiction these days. As usual, and wonderful, it’s about people connecting.
Smith’s writing can wander around loose plots and get somewhat magical and creative but it’s always right there for me.