Saturday, 19 July 2008

Girl meets boy by Ali Smith

The reviews quoted on the paperback of this retelling of the Iphis myth stress its enjoyability, and indeed I did find this deeply enjoyable. Smith's prose seems ideally suited to this shorter form; its archness does not pall here as I found it did in The Accident. The alternating interior monologues that tell the story are well-sustained and support the definition of the characters of the two sisters. The story of Imogen's transformation from corporate drone to rebel, running alongside Anthea's metamorphosis through love, is moving, although I wondered if she had changed her mind rather quickly about her sister's lesbianism. The blossoming of surpressed selves gives the novel its joyful quality, supported by the breathless use of language, the long sentences piling experience on experience with only a comma to divide them.

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