by Helen Oyeyemi
It was amazing. (Rating: 4.9/5)
At first I didn’t fully understand what was going on, but I was compelled to read on because of the intrigue. Along the way, things fall into place–but first let me try to summarize the story as best as I can without spoilers.
It’s a story about a man named Mr. Fox, his wife Daphne, and his “muse” Mary Foxe, a woman of his own imagination. Mr. Fox and Mary Fox play a “game” where they invent stories or alternate realities that contain some of the same elements. Nearly all of the stories have murder, love, (in different shapes and forms, most of which are very dark, taking elements from legends such as Bluebeard and Reynardine!) and the same people in different appearances. This is the confusing ingenuity of the book and I loved it for that.
The stories are separated with bouts of “reality” and breaks from their “game” where Daphne suspects her husband of being disloyal to her. They fall into a bit of a complicated love triangle, but I don’t want to give anything away, so I won’t say anything more.
I loved this book because it was so original, highly entertaining and funny, and I felt that it also had a bit of a moral take even through the affairs of the characters. It showed the complexity and many forms of love and the different perspectives of men and women in love.
Although the book as a whole was amazing, I could easily pick which were my favorite stories. I recommend it to anyone who likes the legends of Bluebeard or Reynardine or fairy tales.
(Also, I love foxes even more after reading this book.)