March 2017 Book of the Month.
Frankie studies art and then works in a gallery in Dublin. The owner only issues part-time contracts for graduating students so after a year she is out of work. Depression and the cusp of mental breakdown follow. She’s twenty-five. She goes home and then persuades her mother that she can care-sit her deceased grandmother’s bungalow while it is on the market. It is here, through the death of a robin, that she decides to commence on an art project photographing dead wild animals, predominantly roadkill. We get the badly produced black and white, grainy photos in the text plus a whole lot of conceptual art references which, in the author’s notes, we are encouraged to look up for we have been given the character’s memory of that part of her studies in “I test myself” sections. Doom and gloom set in. She loses weight and reflects on her childhood and nature, these are the highlights of the book. Her mother is a saint. Unlike the author’s sparsely written first novel, Spill Simmer Falter Wither, which developed slowly and was immensely poignant and uplifting, this one is long and dense as Frankie tries to cope with a world that is wrong and a sadness that is crushing her. The result is an extraordinary meditation on art, loneliness and life. I believe it is semi-autobiographical. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
|Primary Genre||Modern and Contemporary Fiction|