the book of strange new things: review

by uzwi

Beatrice Leigh is a nurse, an evangelical Christian, a cat owner, “an independent and capable woman”, not neccessarily in that order. She lives in a Britain perhaps not so far in our future, in which “Institutions that have been around forever are going to the wall” and a collapsing economy and deteriorating climate have become indices for one another. It would be easier for Bea if she had her husband Peter’s support, but he can’t help: he’s trillions of miles away, on a planet called Oasis, with a mission to convert its alien inhabitants. The conversations of Bea and Peter, which scaffold Michel Faber’s astonishing and deeply affecting sixth novel, are held via a kind of interstellar email. The awkwardness of this medium amplifies to screaming pitch our sense of the emotional space between them. “Sometimes,” she tells him angrily, “I feel as though your leaving caused things to fall apart.”

Read on in the Guardian, here.