Companion Piece ~ by Ali Smith

I’d seen this advertised somewhere and stuck it on the Audible Wish List for later. It may have been before it was released.  Then when it did come out I had to finish reading  one book and found other books and Ali Smith got pushed back until I’d almost forgot until now, a couple months later, I finally pick it up.  This happens with a lot of books on the TBR Shelf. 

Companion Piece
By Ali Smith

2022 / (237 pages) 
Read by Natalie Simpson 4h 54m
Rating: 8.5 / 21st century lit

I first found Ali Smith with her novel Hotel World back in 2001 and went on to read a couple more as they were released but then fell away for awhile.  I picked back up on her in 2014 with How To Be Both and have stayed right with it until now with no real desire to go back the three I missed.  Smith’s series, “Seasonal Quartet,” was brilliant. 

Companion Piece is a 1st person tale again, this time in the era of Covid and Trump. Sandy is the lesbian daughter of an elderly man and earns her keep as an experimental author/artist using words and paint to create images of poetry. Her father doesn’t really approve of her in almost any way but, with her mother deceased, Sandy serves as his companion and cares for him when he gets ill. 

And then an old acquaintance calls and asks about a couple of words, “curfew” and “curlew,” a time limit and a bird. Sounds like Smith’s oeuvre themes. The next thing we know the woman’s two daughters are calling on Sandy, interrogating her, and appropriating her living quarters. It gets hard to follow but I think the curfews of Covid have made everyone about nuts being cooped up.

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