Autumn, by Ali Smith


[Lesley] In some essential ways this novel made me think of Tinkers by Paul Harding. Nonlinear narrative that looks at time, humanity, and aging (and growing up) – beautiful language and deep quiet. I can’t wait to read the others in the quartet (Winter just came out in January!).

This is a tough sort of book to recommend though. There’s no way to think of this story as having a beginning, middle, and end – no way to feel like everything is resolved at the end. It’s hard to get a complete “read” on the characters; everyone is a bit out of focus in a dream-like way. We’re left with some mysteries, some things that may be true but might not be, and both Elisabeth and Daniel existing in that in-between state of growing older. It may not be the book for every reader, but it is one of the best I have read.

And, how could I not love that Daniel always asks Elisabeth, “What are you reading?”


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