A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.
Sitting down to write this review, I realised that I had a problem. The crucial thing about this book, the thing that makes it devastating (rather than “merely” poignant) is also the thing I can’t talk about. To give it away would be to deprive you of the… well, not joy. No, definitely not that. But the impact of the revelation would be gone.
Cohen’s heroine, Felicity, is an odd creature. You might find her charming; personally, I found her rather annoying, self-consciously quirky and just a little bit “off,” somehow, in a way I couldn’t quite qualify. When she begins mentally and emotionally to detach from her staunch, lovely husband in favour of her memories of an ex-boyfriend, you may want to throttle her. I know I did. The more she gives herself over to the fantasy, the more clearly you can see trouble ahead; or so you think. But when that trouble arrives, it’s in a form nobody could predict, much less help. All that is solid melts into air (sometimes only Marx will do), and every comfortable assumption dissolves into something far more disturbing and chaotic.
This is not comfort reading; something would be very wrong if it were. It offers catharsis, not indulgence. It is the best kind of serious commercial fiction. Read it; assume nothing.
Bantam, 372 pp. ISBN: 9780593070857