by Helen Smith
Paperback: 252 pages
- Publisher: Tyger Books (September 4, 2012)
A darkly comic literary novel set in the near future. England has been partitioned and London is an oppressive place where poetry has been forced underground, theatres and schools are shut, and women are not allowed to work outside the home. A young couple, Lucas and Angela, try to escape from London - with disastrous consequences.
Lucas is a twenty-something miracle inspector during an oppressed time in England. Life in the future is bleak for women, and those involved in the arts. Men disappear without warning and women are barred in their homes most of their lives. Lucas and his wife Angela dream of escape and starting over far away. Readers follow the young couple as they try to survive during these trying times in London. Being a miracle inspector seems to be a safe job and like the other local women, Angela stays at home and aims to keep her husband happy.
When crisis strikes their household, we see a shift from Lucas being the protagonist of the story to Angela who is the main focus the remainder of the novel. I was intrigued by the futuristic world that author Helen Smith had created. The oppression that females and freethinkers experienced seem to be something that could very well occur if the modern world as we know it collapsed. I really liked how Smith described an environment that felt hollow and lacking of vibrancy and freedom. She captured the somber mood of London during that period.