Lynn: Wow! I am a rabid fan of Lanagan’s short stories and I was really excited to read this new full-length novel. It is a fantasy and uses a fairly conventional narrative style so it may be more accessible to more readers. It is still a very demanding book and will challenge readers in a different way. The emotional wallop is extremely intense, especially in the first 70 pages of the story. It is the tale of a young girl, 14, in some Middle Ages type place, living in extreme poverty. Since the death of her mother, Liga’s father has sexually abused her, aborted the children she conceives and completely isolated her. After her father dies, she gives birth to a child and is gang raped. In anguish and despair, she decides to kill herself. When something magical intervenes, Liga finds herself living in the place of her dreams – where nothing would ever hurt her again. But what price must she pay for her safety? The writing is brilliant and I am sure that rereading will yield treasure. The characters are beautifully developed; world building is extraordinarily rich as Lanagan plays cunningly with form and genre. Her trademark unique use of language is also present.
The subject matter and bawdy sexuality will make this a controversial book and I am sure it will be much debated. It is definitely for mature readers but should not be missed! This is one of my top three for the year.
Making the Switch
7 years ago